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Nannies learn counter-terror skills at top British school

AFP logoAFP 5/10/2017 BEN STANSALL
Nannies from Norland College have looked after the children of the rich and famous for decades: Nannies from Norland College have looked after the children of the rich and famous. © Provided by AFP Nannies from Norland College have looked after the children of the rich and famous.

Britain's prestigious Norland College, which has trained the creme de la creme of the world's nannies for over a century, has added anti-terrorism training to its curriculum.

For 125 years, the college in Bath, southwest England, has trained modern-day incarnations of Mary Poppins to care for the children of the global elite, including most recently Britain's Prince George. It was the world's first college to offer child care 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. Due to the increasing range of threats facing high-net-worth people and their families, nannies are "in a unique position to both be targeted and to act as a credible obstacle to actions such as kidnap."

Norland graduates, famous for their first-class training and their iconic uniforms, command the highest salaries and secure the most sought-after posts. Prince George's Spanish nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, is a former student.

In the past few years, the college has broadened its curriculum to equip nannies with self-defense 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."

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