To mark Norland’s 130th anniversary, we have been showcasing the dynamic and varied careers available to fully qualified graduates.

We are very lucky to have many Norlanders return to Norland to share their expertise and knowledge with the next generation of Norlanders, enriching our training and providing our students with invaluable first-hand insights into life as a Norland Nanny and beyond.  

Julia Gaskell, Head of Careers and Consultancy  

After graduating with Set 90 in 1985, Julia spent five years nannying in London before she married and had her own children. When she returned to work, Julia spent many years delivering training courses across the country on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), early years leadership and on supporting two-year-olds within the EYFS.  

Keen to put her extensive knowledge into practice, Julia established a nursery in Somerset, which has been consistently identified as an example of ‘outstanding’ practice by Ofsted for over 20 years.  

Julia’s contributions to the EYFS eventually led her to return to Norland on a consultancy basis helping to set up Norland’s nursery. In conjunction with this, she studied for a BA (Hons) early years degree and gained Early Years Professional Status.  

From 2010 until 2018, Julia was a member of the Norland board of directors and played a pivotal role in helping to ensure that the Norlander voice was represented at board level. Her commitment to Norland was further developed when she decided to work more directly in helping to enact Norland’s vision and strategy through her appointment as Head of Consultancy and Training at Norland in 2019.

Julia has since progressed to the role of Head of Careers and Consultancy. She leads all consultancy and training opportunities for external organisations both within the UK and internationally. She manages the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes for Norlanders, and designs and delivers a range of tailored courses. Julia is head of the Norland Agency, which places Norlanders in nanny and maternity nurse positions around the world and provides them with lifelong career support and advice. She also oversees the Newly Qualified Nanny team, which arranges and supports Newly Qualified Nannies in their first 12-month employment as a probationary nanny following their graduation from the Norland degree, ensuring the key aspects of a Norlander’s career trajectory are safe in the hands of a Norlander. 

A headshot of Julia Gaskell, a Norland Nanny who is Head of Careers and Consultancy at Norland

Lucy Krebs, Deputy Head of Learning and Teaching and Student Engagement Manager 

Lucy trained with Set 27 and graduated as a Norland Nanny in 2005. She worked as an early years practitioner after gaining her diploma and spent several years nannying full-time, before returning to Norland at Denford Park in Hungerford to work in the nursery.  

Lucy then joined the Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) team, where she supported and trained students in their first year of employment as a probationary nanny. Her vast practical and theoretical knowledge in all things Norland led her to lecturing on both the degree and diploma, and to pursue an academic career.   

Alongside her deputy head role, Lucy manages student engagement at Norland, working with a team of student representatives to discuss feedback, potential changes to the course and student experience and to plan social and charity opportunities. She recently ran 62km to raise money for LGBTQIA+ charity Stonewall. She oversees the integration of students from under-represented groups and leads the Anti-Discrimination Innovation Team and the Change Agents programme, which provides students with the opportunity to suggest, implement and run new clubs or opportunities for their peers.

Lucy also runs the ‘Here to Hear’ scheme, a student volunteer-led mentee/mentor initiative offering students a safe space to talk through any worries, queries or concerns with a peer. Volunteers are trained and supported by the student support team throughout the programme.  

Continuing with her own academic development, Lucy gained a BA (Hons) degree combining history and the early years through part-time study with the Open University in 2016. In 2021, Lucy graduated with an MA in Integrated Working with Children and Families in the Early Years from Pen Green. Lucy has published research on student engagement and recognising the importance of fathers when working with families, concluding that their roles are complex and commonly stereotyped.

Lucy has presented papers on her own theory, mutual scaffolding, at the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Online Conference in 2021. Mutual scaffolding is the process whereby a child uses an experience they have shared with an adult as a basis for furthering the adults understanding of something they have not shared. Through mutual-scaffolding, children are actively seeking understanding of their perspective from adults (Krebs, 2020).  

Elspeth Pitman, Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) Manager  

Elspeth graduated from Norland in 2003 with Set 25. During her time nannying full-time, she trained as a Maternity Practitioner through a course jointly run by Maternity and Nanny Training and Norland in 2004. 

Elspeth’s passion is working with families. In 2008, she joined the NHS and Sure Start Children’s Centre as a community nursery nurse. Her Norland training led her to excel in this role and she was soon promoted to project leader for a multi-disciplinary team to promote health and working with families. During this time, Elspeth qualified as a parenting practitioner in two world-renowned parenting programmes: Triple P Parenting Programme and the Incredible Years Parenting Programme. 

Elspeth’s career led her back to Norland in 2012 as a lecturer on the degree. She played a significant role in designing Norland’s BA (Hons) in Early Development and Learning and the Norland diploma. Committed to continuing her own professional development, Elspeth also gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.  

Elspeth then became an early years consultant to support and train qualified Norlanders, as well as carrying out training and projects for external clients. Elspeth spent time in Japan teaching for a nursery and nanny provider, and also helped to review babysitting policies for a global hotel group amongst other things.  

As Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) Manager, Elspeth prepares, trains, supports and assesses Norland students in their fourth and final year of training as probationary nannies in paid employment to earn the Norland diploma and professional title Norlander, or Norland Nanny as fully qualified graduates are known. She also acts as the designated safeguarding officer for NQNs and their employer families.  

In her spare time, Elspeth writes a blog and articles for various parenting and nannying magazines, she also completed a master’s degree in psychology through the University of Bristol acquiring accreditation with British Psychological Society.  

Female headshot

Elizabeth Harvey, Events Manager  

Elizabeth has had an extensive career with Norland. In the years since her graduation with Set 75 in 1980, Elizabeth has enjoyed a varied career. After graduating, she worked as a nanny, a maternity nurse, a matron in a boys boarding school, as a nursery nurse on paediatric and maternity wards and in special care, before she returned to Norland at Denford Park in Hungerford. This time, instead of studying, Elizabeth took a position at the Norland nurseries where she cared for the children and oversaw students, before she was promoted to Deputy Manager.   

Elizabeth moved with Norland from Hungerford to Bath in 2003. At this time, she was working as a Placement Facilitator for three years before becoming Practical Skills Co-ordinator with a specific focus on the practical Norland diploma. Elizabeth also managed a Norland-written BTEC course which was delivered to six schools nationwide.  

In 2017, during Norland’s 125th anniversary celebrations, Elizabeth found Norland founder Emily Ward’s notebook, which was kept by Mrs Ward from 1892 until 1919 as both a diary and training manual. The notebook had gone largely unnoticed for almost a century in the Norland archives.  

Today, Elizabeth’s role at Norland is multi-faceted. As Events Manager, she is responsible for the Norland degree and diploma graduation ceremonies and its annual Heritage Day. Elizabeth also manages the value-added curriculum of workshops and guest speakers, ranging from self-defence to hypnobirthing. Elizabeth continues to teach practical skills on the diploma, such as topping and tailing, hygiene, and feeding.

Elizabeth supports the evolving charitable arm of Norland, making links with organisations where students may gift their time, as well as being proactively engaged in fundraising. The Norland choir is important to Elizabeth, as is her interest in sharing music with children. Elizabeth has celebrated working at Norland for over twenty years. Her dedication to Emily Ward’s legacy embodies the Norland mottoes ‘Love never Faileth’ and ‘Strength in Adversity’.  

Clare Harvey-Smith, Placement Officer

Clare describes her relationship with Norland as “a joyous lifetime commitment.” Clare trained at Denford Park, Hungerford with Set 79 and graduated as a Norland Nanny in 1981. In the late 1980s, Clare returned to Denford Park after working as a full-time nanny in London. She spent time working in the Norland nurseries before assisting with a local authority school in setting up their own nursery department.  

Clare worked as a temporary and emergency nanny to many different families. She worked as a trouble-shooting nanny to help her employers support children with sleep and food, and supported families through crises such as bereavement, which were experiences invaluable to her and the children she supported.  

Gaining a love for education, Clare went on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Buckingham and became a teacher to a reception class whilst she grew a family of her own. Thanks to her Norland training and passion for the early years, Clare became head of early years in a preparatory school and then head of safeguarding. In this role, Clare had to constantly evaluate what was best for children and students, supported with the wealth of knowledge she gained through her Norland training and career.    

Clare believes her Norland training gave her the tools to adapt her career to suit her personal circumstances. In 2016, she returned to Norland to complete the Maternity Practitioner course through its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training programme. The following year, Clare joined Norland as Placement Officer, a post she has held for the past five years. In this role, she supports students in their various placements across the three years of Norland training.   

“Mine is a job that never stands still,” Clare says, adding that it has shown her that “an affinity for Norland always remains, no matter where in the world you are.” 

Lucy Rogers (pictured), Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) Consultant 

Like Nia, Lucy trained at Norland with Set 33 and graduated as a Norland Nanny in 2012. After gaining her BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies, Lucy completed her probationary nanny year and stayed with the same employer family for over eight years.  

“I loved my time with them,” Lucy says. “It was a privilege to be able to see them grow up and be able to support their development, learning and interests. It is so rewarding to know that I had been a key part of scaffolding this.”  

It was her participation in Norland’s shadowing programme that was the impetus for her return to Norland. In this programme, a Norland student accompanies a fully graduated Norlander or a Newly Qualified Nanny to gain an idea of their day-to-day duties. “I always knew I wanted to come back to Norland,” Lucy remembers. “I had such a great time whilst I was training!”  

Lucy knew that her experiences with her own NQN family and having qualified with both a degree and the Norland diploma, meant she was in a prime position to “support future Norlanders as they start their journeys”.  

Nia Pike, Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) Consultant 

Nia trained alongside Lucy Rogers (below) in Set 33 and completed the BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies alongside the coveted Norland diploma in 2012. Once Nia completed her fourth and final year as a Newly Qualifed Nanny, she worked as a full-time and temporary nanny in London and around the world, caring for children aged from two to 12 years.

By 2015, Nia was head of toddlers in a countryside nursery near Bath. In this role, she managed a team of five members of staff to ensure that the toddlers in their care enjoyed a nurturing, engaging and fun environment each day to encourage development and fostering their inquisitiveness. The knowledge gained from the Norland degree and diploma training set her up well for this role, as part of the training includes managing multiple staff to provide the best quality care for children in early years settings.

In 2017, Nia returned to Norland to take up a role in the Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) team. Her wealth of experience nannying for many families enabled her to effectively support and advise NQNs in their final year of training. Her role included training, preparing, supporting, and assessing students through their first year of employment as probationary nannies.

Nia has recently returned the Norland following maternity leave, to begin a new role as Alumni Relations and Engagement Manager.

Charlotte Macey (pictured), Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) Consultant 

Charlotte grew up in Bath and “was always fascinated” by the Norland students in their uniforms and “couldn’t believe it” when she was offered a place to train. 

After graduating with Set 34 in 2013, Charlotte moved to West London for her NQN year and remained as a live-in, full-time nanny for three years. Once her charges were old enough to go to school, Charlotte spent time as a temporary nanny, and “really enjoyed getting to know different families and learning how to really hit the ground running as soon as you walk into any home.”

Charlotte then found a longer-term placement with a high-profile LGBTQ+ family and worked as a daily nanny for six years. “I supported them through several house moves, many trips overseas and the COVID-19 pandemic. When you are with a family for a long time, you really do become part of the family and, although it is a sad moment when you stop being their full-time nanny, you take huge comfort in knowing you will continue to be part of their lives as friends.” 

Wishing to return to Bath, Charlotte re-joined Norland as an NQN consultant. “I find a lot of joy in watching all the NQNs embark on their exciting journeys and hearing all the incredible feedback from their employers who feel so lucky to have an NQN who has had Norland training caring for their children.”    

Anna Yeend, Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) Consultant 

Anna trained with Set 30 and graduated in 2009. She moved to London for her Newly Qualified Nanny year, where she worked for an Orthodox Jewish family. “It was a brilliant year of learning for me, understanding the culture of the family and the cultural capital of the children. I adapted my care to meet the requirements of the religion, such as using a dual kitchen and working with and adhering to the family’s requirements and experiencing their wonderful festivals.” 

Anna continued to work as both a full-time and temporary nanny for several years, including for high profile families. Amongst her most memorable experiences was proxy-parenting for five children, aged from one to 13 years, on an Alpaca farm. 

“I fancied a change and a new challenge,” she says, upon deciding to leave the nannying career in favour of a job as a deputy manager of a nursery. “Within a year I was asked to manage a new nursery they were opening in Bristol, so I opened and ran that nursery for almost three years. Next, they asked me to open their flagship nursery, a 200-place addition to the chain, also in Bristol. I ran that nursery for several months on a temporary basis whilst a manager was appointed. I then progressed into a senior manager position and headed up the training, curriculum, and quality standards inspections for all 10 nurseries in the chain, working with over 400 staff and over 1,500 families.”  

Anna’s achievements and skills are put to fantastic use as an NQN Consultant for Norland. She works with students going into their fourth year of training and supports them and their employers during the NQN year. She also helps to assess the NQNs in their final assessments for the Norland diploma.

Gabriella Pugh, Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) Consultant 

Gabriella trained with Set 37 from 2013 until 2016, gaining her BA (Hons) in Early Years Development and Learning. Her dissertation explored methods of supporting new parents of twins and multiples, which helped her in her first nannying role as the family had multiples. 

After completing her degree, Gabriella moved to the countryside to complete her NQN year. Once she became a fully qualified Norlander, she remained with her NQN family for a further nine months. She maintained a strong working relationship with this family and returned in 2022 to nanny for them part-time after her charges gained another sibling. Her charges were involved in her wedding last year; the twin girls were bridesmaids, and the twin boys she cared for during her residential placements at Norland were her pageboys! 

Gabriella’s role as a nanny took her not only to London but also to Barbados, Australia, Crete and Dubai on family holidays. She returned to the English countryside as a Family Practitioner at a children’s centre. She regularly ran classes for families in this role, relying on her Norland training and continued professional development courses.  

Gabriella is a certified infant massage instructor (CIMI), having completed her International Association of Infant Massage training, alongside Norland Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses on sleep, brain development and child development, to name a few. These qualifications have given her the confidence to pass on her knowledge to the next cohorts of Norland Newly Qualified Nannies.

Pollyanna Whitehead, Early Career Lecturer

Pollyanna is the newest Norlander to join the Norland team, starting as Early Career Lecturer ahead of the 2023/24 academic year.

Pollyanna studied at Norland with Set 37 from 2013 until 2016, graduating with a first class BA (Hons) in Early Years Development and Learning along with the Norland Diploma. She later obtained an MA in Social and Public Policy from the University of York.

Pollyanna has worked as a nanny in a variety of different roles, including both shared care and sole charge. In her nanny career, she developed her practice as an enthusiastic and empathetic caregiver. She worked in big, busy families and quickly learned how to juggle the differing needs of each child at the same time.

Alongside nannying, Pollyanna has worked in family support roles. She coordinated play and engagement activities for children visiting a family member in prison. She also managed a family support project that provided one-to-one befriending support to low income and vulnerable parents.

Throughout her academic study and working career, Pollyanna has developed a keen interest in using theory-based practice to improve outcomes for vulnerable children. In particular, she is keen to further research the role that early years practitioners can play in supporting and empowering parents.

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