The Daily Telegraph

Nanny’s an equal, Norland founder wrote

- By Lydia Willgress

DON’T let rich housewives boss you about, Norland Nannies were told, in “spoonfuls” of advice written by the real-life Mary Poppins.

Emily Ward, who founded Norland College in 1892, told new starters that they were being trained to “work with and not instead of, or for, the mother”.

In a notebook which has lain undiscover­ed for a century, she stressed that nannies were “educated equals” to the mothers and were hired to alleviate the “most wearying anxiety that comes with the care of children”.

Norland College has gone on to become an elite training school for nannies hired by the upper tiers of society, including the Royal family and oligarchs.

The notebook was found in a box in an attic at the college’s headquarte­rs in Bath, Somerset, by lecturer Elizabeth Kerry. It includes letters, press clippings and entries which date from May 14, 1892, through to November 6, 1919.

Salaries paid to nannies at the time were £20 for the first year, with a raise of £2 for the next four years, which would be £1,800 at today’s prices.

The current principal of Norland College, Dr Janet Rose, said: “Before that time, the role of the ‘children’s nurse’ or nanny was a last-resort job, if you had exhausted all other options.”

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