Norland College is firmly committed to finding and supporting those who will make the very best early years practitioners to work with babies, young children and their families in home and other settings, regardless of their age, gender, disability, ethnic or socio-economic background. The Norland degree opens the door to many significant career opportunities for its graduates and we are committed to ensuring that those opportunities are available to all. The 100% employability of our graduates through the inhouse Norland Agency, along with the significant salaries that they attract, provides a powerful vehicle for social mobility. However, we recognise that barriers exist for some students which might ordinarily prevent them from studying at Norland College and we are determined to do our best to help potential students overcome those barriers.
Norland College has a dedicated strategy and taskforce focused on supporting access and widening participation to our Higher Education provision. We have a particular concern to broaden, not only our own student demographics, but to improve the participation of under-represented groups in the sector. We have a number of continuing initiatives which specifically target students of different gender, minority groups and less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Some of these targets are beginning to be met, such as the vast majority of our students arriving from state funded education, rather than private schools. We have taken proactive steps to encourage students from different parts of society to study at Norland, such as visiting schools from disadvantaged areas, proactive marketing to change socio-cultural attitudes towards, for example, men working as nannies, and bespoke open days that promote inclusion and opportunities for all.
Norland also provides practical, financial support via its bursary schemes, some of which are ring-fenced in order to attract students from under-represented groups; and facilitates students’ capacity to ‘earn while they learn’, via employment opportunities both during term time and the vacation period.
Our widening participation strategy and policy extends to all aspects of the student journey from enquiries to graduation and beyond, such as setting up support groups for minority students and via small teaching and tutor groups. This helps to ensure students are supported throughout their time at Norland, particularly those who may require additional encouragement or nurturing to feel part of the College and wider community.