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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019

British nannies are being given anti-terrorism training

Students are now taking lessons on evasive driving and cyber security provided by former intelligence officer

Image: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images

FOR OVER A hundred years the nannies of Norland College have been trained to care for the children of the rich and wealthy; from cooking to education, child minding to house affairs.

But the prestigious British college has added a new skill to its curriculum; anti-terrorism training.

Based in the city of Bath, Norland College has been running childcare courses since 1892.

It was the world’s first college to offer childcare courses but students are now taking lessons on evasive driving and cyber security provided by former intelligence officers.

The training aims to provide nannies with a “foundation to think ahead and prepare for potentially threatening changes in their environment,” said Paul Gibson, former head of UK Counter Terrorism.

Graduates of the college have gone on to care for the children of Britain’s Royal family. Prince William and Kate Middleton were among the most recent royals to hire one of the nannies, taking on Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo to look after Prince George.

Nannies are “in a unique position to both be targeted and to act as a credible obstacle to actions such as kidnap” due to the increasing range of threats facing high net worth individuals and their families.

Norland College - Bath Source: Ben Birchall

Norland graduates, famous for their first-class training and their iconic uniforms, command the highest salaries and secure the most sought-after posts.

In the past few years, the college has broadened its curriculum to equip nannies with self-defence and safe-driving skills.

The latest addition will show “our clients that they’ll be able to have someone who will be able, we hope, to cope in most circumstances,” Norland’s director, Janet Rose told BBC Radio.

“That’s what our students have said: that they feel more aware, a lot more prepared and a lot more confident in carrying out their professional duties”.

Students at Norland College graduate with a degree from the University of Gloucestershire, along with a diploma from the college itself.

Norland College has grown from 100 students to 250 in order to meet the demand for its graduates. Due to celebrate its 125th anniversary next year, the college plans an intake of 90 first year students.

Additional reporting by AFP

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