Students achieve degree places at prestigious Norland College

Two WCG students are celebrating after achieving degree places at the prestigious Norland College in Bath, the home to Norland Nannies.

Ria Croxford, 17 from Hillmorton and Rosie Barr, 17 from Warwick, will study for their BA (Hons) in Early Years Development and Learning alongside the Norland Diploma, at the elite college which trains nannies for the rich and famous, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

With their distinctive brown uniforms, white gloves and hats, Norland Nannies are often known as the modern day ‘Mary Poppins’, and they are sought after internationally due to the high quality of their training. Places for students are extremely competitive with just 100 available every year.

Ria is in the second year of the Level 3 Child Play Learning and Development (CPLD) course at Rugby College and became interested in going to Norland after seeing a TV programme about the college. She said, “Originally I was going to do A-levels, but I didn’t get the grades I needed which was a bump in the road for me, so I came to college to have a look and decided to do the early years course. It involves so much practical experience – each week I do two days at a nursery – and we all do three different placements with babies, toddlers and school age children.

“Honestly I wouldn’t have got in to Norland if I’d done A-levels, as I wouldn’t have had the knowledge or the practical experience needed. I was able to tell the interviewers that I had hundreds of hours of experience and had worked in a nursery which I think gave me the edge.

“The tutors at Rugby College have been brilliant. When I originally said I want to be a Norland Nanny in my first year they said “OK. Let’s do this!” and supported me throughout. When I was going for my interview they were giving me advice and wishing me good luck.

“I was ecstatic when I found out I had got in. Just to know that it had been four years in the making to actually get the result that I wanted was just crazy. My nan was crying, everyone was crying – it was a moment where everyone was really proud of you.”

Talking about the degree course at Norland, Ria continued “The course is tailor-made for what we need to know within the nannying profession, and for who we will be working with. As well as the lectures around childcare there’s also things you’d never think you’d have to do – aga training, learning how to skid a car and self-defence.”

Rosie studies the Level 3 CPLD at Royal Leamington Spa College and also secured a sought-after place at Norland. She explains how she was inspired to apply for the degree by a family connection. “My cousin is a Norlander and she always talked about the amazing bond she had with the families she worked with, so I have been set on going to Norland for a long time.

“The CPLD course means you get the benefit of a lot of experience working with children – it’s a real head start and the tutors have helped me so much.

“When I got the email from UCAS I waited until I was with my mum before opening it – she was so pleased and I couldn’t wait to tell everyone. Long term I’d love to travel and work abroad, and as a Norland Nanny, I know there will be lots of opportunities to do that.”

George Swindale from Norland College recently visited Leamington and Rugby Colleges to talk to students about the Norland experience. He said, “We’re delighted to welcome two WCG students to Norland this September. During my visit to the colleges in Leamington and Rugby I was pleased to see the level of enthusiasm shown for what Norland offers; the students responded really positively to what they heard and recognised the strength of the career choices available to them once they graduate. We hope to see many of them come along to our upcoming open days!”

Natasha Young, early years lecturer at WCG said, “This is fantastic news for both Ria and Rosie. To be successful in their application to such a prestigious college as Norland is a real achievement and testament to their hard work and dedication.

“On the CPLD course our students have to undertake a range of work placements with children of different ages, and I think this really gives them the edge with universities and employers.

“We were delighted to welcome Norland to our colleges to talk about their courses, and I hope many more of our students will follow in Ria and Rosie’s footsteps. We are incredibly proud of both of them.”

For more information about childhood studies courses at Rugby and Royal Leamington Spa Colleges, go to or call 0300 456 0049.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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