Nanny state

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

IF you want this choice po­si­tion/have a cheery dis­po­si­tion/rosy cheeks, no warts!/play games, all sorts…/love us as a son and daugh­ter/and never smell of bar­ley wa­ter.’ With the news that Nor­land nan­nies have been forced to add anti-ter­ror­ism train­ing to their carpet bag of tricks, it’s clear that the cri­te­ria for the per­fect nanny have changed quite a bit since Jane and Michael Banks sang about her. Where is Mary Pop­pins when you need her?

Im­pec­ca­bly trained, Nor­land nan­nies are famed the world over and, as a lot of their em­ploy­ers are now oli­garchs and the su­per-rich, as well as mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily, stu­dents at Nor­land Col­lege, in Bath, are hav­ing to learn how best to pro­tect their young charges from the threat of ter­ror gangs. This in­cludes self-de­fence, eva­sive driv­ing tech­niques, so­cial-me­dia aware­ness and how to spot po­ten­tial kid­nap­pers. Would-be nan­nies are even be­ing ad­vised to keep an emer­gency bag of clothes with them at all times, in case of es­cape.

‘Our train­ing pro­vides the nan­nies with a foun­da­tion to think ahead and pre­pare for po­ten­tially threat­en­ing changes in their en­vi­ron­ment, a skill they can ap­ply to ev­ery as­pect of their lives,’ says Brig Paul Gib­son.

Dr Janet Rose, prin­ci­pal of Nor­land Col­lege, adds: ‘When Emily Ward set up Nor­land 125 years ago, she was revo­lu­tion­ary about how child­care as a pro­fes­sion was viewed and was al­ways think­ing about the par­tic­u­lar needs of chil­dren and their fam­i­lies. I think she would feel proud of the way we are mov­ing the cur­ricu­lum for­ward to meet mod­ern-day chal­lenges.’

AS the daugh­ter of a race­horse trainer and a for­mer even­ter, horses have al­ways fea­tured heav­ily in the life of Suf­folk artist Tory Lawrence; this deep con­nec­tion in­forms her work, a se­lec­tion of which, in­clud­ing Night Horse (above), is cur­rently on show in her ex­hi­bi­tion ‘Horses and Birds’ at the A&D Gallery on Chiltern Street, Lon­don W1, un­til May 30 (www.aand­dgallery.com).

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