Truro College student looks forward to becoming a Norland Nanny

Think of nannies and the magical, song-filled world of Mary Poppins may come to mind, or perhaps the crooked nose of Nanny McPhee. Few people, however, will know about the reality of what it takes to become one of the world’s top nannies – except for one St Austell teenager, who recently realised a dream after being accepted onto the internationally recognised Norland Nanny programme.

Norland Nannies may be little known among the public but to the world’s elite – the billionaires, celebrities and royalty – a Norland Nanny is perhaps the best thing since a “spoonful of sugar”.

Trained to not only help care for and look after the children of the wealthy, Norland Nannies also receive instruction on how to drive cars at high speed, self-defence with a pram and how to avoid the paparazzi.

Harriet Hickling, who is currently studying a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Child’s Play, Learning and Development at Truro College, has just been accepted into the prestigious, internationally recognised Norland training programme and for her, it’s a dream come true.

Working with children since she was young and knowing that competition for Norland is fierce, Harriet was determined to give her all to her application.

“I was always interested in Norland but assumed I would never be able to compete with the applicants,” she said. “After attending the open day, I knew I had to go for it and chose to take the risk of tailoring my whole personal statement to just Norland. This showed the determination that I so badly wanted a place.”

Harriet’s brave move paid off as she quickly received an invitation to an interview, and then her offer through UCAS after just 10 days.

“I couldn’t quite believe it,” Harriet added. “After all these years, I had done it. Finally, I was about to do what I love and carry on the Norland name and its values.”

The Norland values that Harriet is so eager to carry on are definitely worthy of her excitement.

“Norland takes pride in its traditional values and in particular their uniform. It is vital that as a Norland Nanny you are presentable and smart at all times as well as being practical,” added Harriet. “Along with many other things, Norland offers skid-pan driving, self-defence with a pram and how to avoid paparazzi when working with high profile families. I am very excited to extend my skills.”

Harriet has always been interested in working with children. In Year 9, she chose to take Child Development along with Psychology, subjects that have helped her massively with her diploma.

Thanks to Truro College, Harriet is on track to achieve the highest rating of triple distinction star in her diploma and Harriet says she couldn’t have done it without the support of the College and her tutors.  

She added: “I believe the course has fully supported me in furthering my knowledge as well as my practical skills, having completed over 750 hours of placement in a variety of settings including a nursery, a primary school and a holiday club. My course tutor and lecturer has also offered amazing support from the very start of my course and has helped me every step of the way to achieving my dreams. I wouldn’t be in the place I am without her dedication and expertise.”

Harriet is now looking forward to starting her studies with Norland in September so keep an eye out for those flying umbrellas.