The British College Training A Bunch Badass 'Mary Poppins'

They've got skills in their back pocket ...
The British College Training A Bunch Badass 'Mary Poppins'

Norland College in Bath, England, is the most prestigious school if you'd like to become a top-level nanny and add pizzazz to the title. Most nanny grads go on to work for high-profile people, such as the Royal Family or Mick Jagger. Once let out into the world, the college has guaranteed employment, and salaries can range up to $170,000 a year. But what warrants this highly paid position? Well, as if guiding a child from their early years and supporting them in their mental and social growth isn't enough on their plate, the title of nanny only begins to describe the skills needed to become Norlander, as they deem it.

Founded by Emily Ward in 1892, her goal was to create a professional space that would allow those who wanted this type of intensive first-class nanny training, mimicking the principles of Froebel, the German educationalist who invented kindergarten. And with those context clues, you already know that the process is none other than strict.

Typically becoming long-time caregivers for the children of renowned people, Norland nannies' four-year training gives them ample knowledge from preparing easy sushi children's recipes to controlling a skidding car should the paparazzi be after them or a kidnapping underway. They're also taught cyber-security and anti-terrorism strategies provided by British military intelligence officers. Nannies are not exempt from learning self-defense practices- taekwondo being the martial art of choice. 

But being a Norlander relies on the details, such as mastering the profiterole is a must, especially in the dramatic event of a children's birthday party. In the colleges' curriculum, understanding what it takes "to throw the perfect teddy bear's picnic" is critical. They also learn to sew children's clothing.

Here’s to say, you’d want this person with you wherever you go, never mind being a full-grown adult.

Take, for instance, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, Spanish-born royal nanny to Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Prince William. At least ten years of experience was required to qualify for the esteemed position, and she often goes where the family travels, looking after Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

The Norland nannies, being considered some of the most qualified in the world, have a wee bit of pressure on them, as going above and beyond is absolutely non-negotiable. Not all heroes wear capes, though these nanny students are required to wear a specific outfit that, at first glance, seems it never left 1960s nurse fashion, but upon reflection, their uniforms contain over a century of history and tradition -- so the fit must be respected.

But rolling up sleeves is a no-no, as are several random college pet peeves. Wearing minimal makeup is a rule. Students are banned from ordering fast food while in uniform, chewing gum, using headphones to listen to music, using a cell phone while walking, as well as purchasing alcohol. When they graduate, they are not obliged to wear their uniform; rather, "most Norlanders wear smart, practical civilian clothing to fit in with modern families," if that's not the most British thing you've ever heard.

For more of Oona’s sarcasm and attempted wit, visit her website

Top Image: Norland College


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