Paparazzi avoidance and self defence taught to trainee nannies
- 27 February 2013
- From the section Bristol
Trainee nannies at a college in Bath are being taught self-defence and paparazzi avoidance skills as part of their BA Honours degree course.
Norland College has been training professional nannies since 1892.
But to meet the needs of modern parents the college has added skid pan training and Tae Kwon-Do to its degree course.
Emily Ward, from Norland, said the activities ensure students are "fully prepared for the environment that they're going out into".
Norland nannies still wear the traditional Mary Poppin's style uniforms, brown felt hat and white gloves.
'Protect against anything'
In addition to everyday skills such as first aid and fitting car seats, the nannies' three-year degree programme now includes lessons in self-defence and how to deal with potential kidnappers.
Abigail Harris, a Norland student, said: "They [the children] are your number one priority and you have to know that you can protect them against anything.
"So it's really important to be able to do this - it's a really important skill."
College training for 21st Century childcare also includes driving on a skid pan at the Castle Combe Racing Circuit in Wiltshire.
The class teaches students how to deal with icy roads and how to safely get away from pursing photographers trying to take pictures of the children in their care.
'Tough and realistic'
Driving instructor John Yeo, who normally trains body guards, said the nannies course was "tough and realistic".
"We put them under as much pressure as we can," he said.
"If we're putting all the pressure on them and they can still pull the car out of a situation quickly and efficiently, it's been a good reward.
"And we know when they go out there and that happens they've got the best chance possible of keeping safe."
The college, the first to offer childcare courses, has been training 'Norlanders' since it was founded in 1892 by Emily Ward.
But Claire Burges, lecturer and former graduate of Norland College, believes the college's founder would have loved the new additions to the prospectus.
She said: "When Emily Ward set up Norland, it was forward thinking it was always thinking about what was needed for the children in the families that the nannies were going to be caring for.
"And I think she'd love the idea that we're now moving it even more forward."