What is the Norland Foundation?
The Norland Foundation (the Foundation) is a registered Charity (registered Charity number 1180292) whose principal object is the advancement of education particularly in the early years. It is the parent body of Norland College. Since 31 July 2019, Norland College has been a subsidiary of the Norland Foundation.
The governance of the Foundation is undertaken by the Trustees, three of the trustees are independent of Norland College and two are nominated by Norland. Norland College’s nominated trustees are the Chair of the College Board (ex Offico) and one other director. The replacement of independent trustees is carried out by the Foundation. The Foundation promotes best practice in these fields and provides funding for research and other projects.
What is the mission of the Norland Foundation?
The objects of the charity are to advance education for the public benefit, in particular early years education. The Norland Foundation aims to promote social inclusion, in particular (but without limitation) among children of early years age and their families/carers who are at risk of social exclusion due to being socially and/or economically deprived. Its mission is also to look after Norland.
The Foundation’s funds are derived from distributions made by the College and income from its own investments. It also holds, as trustee, investments representing the Student Protection Plan of Norland, required by the Office for Students, and those of a benevolent fund to assist present and past students and staff in need.
It accepts donations and will be expanding its fundraising activities in the future, principally to further support access and widen student participation in Norland’s higher education provision through student bursaries.
The charity achieves this mission in the following ways:
- The promotion of effective education and training of student or qualified childcare and education practitioners in all aspects of early years care and the education of young children.
- The promotion of best practice in early years care and the education of young children generally.
- The provision of funding for specific projects and/or research relating to the promotion of best practice in early years care and education.
- The provision of funding for specific projects/and or research to promote social inclusion.
In addition, the Foundation oversees Norland College’s strategy and solvency. It also approves the following:
- Annual budget and five year plans.
- Financial statements.
- Changes to the College Articles.
- The appointment and re-appointment of directors recommended by Norland College.
- Major changes to the management structure of Norland College.
- The acquisition of assets, businesses, and the taking up of loans.
Since the Foundation was set up in 2019, the following projects have been funded:
- Funding of a Research Assistant to develop and finalise a framework for the Parent/Child Services in the Home family visitation programme with the Transforming Autism Project (TAP), and to develop a monitoring and evaluation system and a reliable evaluation tool, on the impact of the service on children and their families. Following Norland’s collaboration with TAP, the First Steps – An Early Family Support programme was developed. This is an innovative and much-needed support programme for very young autistic children, under the age of 4 years, and their parents. The programme is currently implemented by TAP with positive testimonials from parents.
- Funding of a ‘stay and play’ group for special needs children for local community nursery group First Steps Bath to enable children with special needs to enjoy positive play activities with their parents. This group also provides access to advice from professionals about other services available to support families, as well as access to peer support from families in similar situations.
- Funding two postdoctoral researchers, who have conducted a systematic literature review on (i) sleep and sleep training and (ii) children’s food preferences and weaning. These projects will feed into a compilation of best practice guides which will be freely available to families and early years settings.
- Funding of a Graduate Research Internship scheme (GRI). The purpose of the GRI scheme is to enable new graduates and early researchers to learn real-world research skills and experience. Internships bring a wealth of benefits to graduates seeking a career path post-graduation. Collaborative research projects are developed with Norland College who provides expertise and support for the GRIs as part of their research community activity. Recent research projects include:
- Emotion Coaching Literature Review.
- How do early childhood professionals contextualise the revised ECS benchmark statement and the graduate competencies into their practice – An exploratory multiple case study.
- Relational pedagogy – A scoping study.
- An exploration of educational gain earned at Norland.
- Attachment Aware Schools UK and South Africa – The Attachment Aware Schools project is premised on the basis that an attachment-informed approach to working with children offers the best effective early intervention, especially for those experiencing attachment-related difficulties. It provides a coherent and integrated framework for whole school practices. Attachment Aware Schools South Africa: A programme evaluation is a doctoral study involving the implementation and evaluation of the UK model developed by Dr Janet Rose, Dr Louise Gilbert and Richard Parker in a small primary school in Johannesburg. It is the first time that this model is being implemented and evaluated within the South African context.
- Qualities of home-based childcare is a collaborative project with academics Anglia Ruskin University. It explores the views of qualified nannies and registered childminders about the key characteristics and qualities of their work, based on their experiences. This project has revealed that home-based childcare, offered by nannies and childminders, provides a support system for families with parental well-being being at its heart along with the caring of the child. This project has significant implications for the way home-based childcare is understood and for policy. Norland is leading the way in re-conceptualising and re-instating the importance of home-based childcare. Initial findings of the study have been published at Norland Educare Research Journal.
- Funding the Norland Educare Research Journal, the world’s first research journal dedicated to advancing and enhancing the knowledge base for professional practices and policies for home-based early childhood education and care.
- The Norland Foundation has also made small grants to other charities meeting Norland’s mission including Strongbones and the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC).
The Foundation will be planning fundraising activities for:
- Bursaries for disadvantaged students who have the talent to qualify at Norland but are unable to afford the fees. A student may borrow around £6,000 pa from Student Finance for tuition fees, but this leaves a shortfall of approximately £10,500 per annum.
- Occasional one-off grants for students in particularly difficult financial circumstances.
- Research projects in the field of early childhood education and care.
- Charitable payments to early years charities in the field of early childhood education and care supporting young children in need.
The Foundation seeks donations from:
- Fully qualified Norland College graduates (Norlanders).
- Employers of qualified Norlanders and graduates in their probationary post as a Newly Qualified Nanny.
- Trusts, other bodies and other individuals.