Grounded in history,
focused on the future

The very best education since 1892

Norland College was founded in 1892 by Emily Ward who had recognised the need for early years childcare to be more structured, centered around the child, loving and nurturing. Prior to the introduction of formal training at Norland, children would be cared for by ‘untutored’ housemaids before going to school. Norland was the first college to offer any kind of childcare training.

The college was originally named the ‘Training School for Ladies as Children’s Nurses’, but it quickly became known as ‘Norland Institute’ because of its location on Norland Place in London. Since its founding at Norland Place, Norland College (as it is now known) has moved to numerous locations, finally coming to Bath in 2003. Emily Ward focused her training on the founding principles of Froebel (the German educationalist best known as the originator of the ‘kindergarten system’) and adapted them to be relevant to the needs of young children and their families.

Along with its location, the curriculum at Norland has changed and progressed with the times to offer the most up to date academic childcare training courses and the highest practice standards in line with the latest research. Throughout its constant development Norland’s values have remained the same, with children being at the centre of all decisions and the Norland motto ‘Love Never Faileth’ being central to its values.

The Uniform – a Norland professional 

Emily Ward quickly recognised that Norland Nurses (as Norland graduates were originally known) needed to be recognised as professionals (and not mistaken for housemaids) so she introduced the uniform. Norland Nurses would not only wear the uniform when training at the college but also once qualified in the workplace - they were recognisable wherever they went.

The uniform is still a strong part of Norland’s tradition. In the same way that a professional nurse would be expected to wear a uniform, Norland students are expected to wear their uniform with pride, and to adhere to the strict uniform guidelines. Norland graduates are no longer expected however to wear their uniform when working in a family, unless the family specifically wants them to.

In 2013, and for the first time in 70 years, a new uniform was unveiled. Designed locally and produced by British manufacturers, the uniform was updated whilst still reflecting Norland’s distinguished heritage. Find out more about the uniform here.

  • Emily Ward, founder of norland