(BATH, England) — A British teenager has become the first man ever admitted to a degree program at England’s most prestigious nanny college.
Michael Kenny, 18, will be the first “manny” to graduate from Norland College, in Bath, in its 120-year history. Kenny, along with 48 female students in his class, will earn a Bachelors degree in early childhood studies.
“I have always wanted to work with children and Norland has the best reputation in the country, if not the world, for studying childcare,” Kenny said in a statement given to ABC News Friday.
He said that the fact that he is the only man in his class “doesn’t bother (him) at all.”
Kenny said he decided to apply to Norland after spending time working with disabled children in Uganda, helping to teach them English and math. He called Norland College to make sure they would even accept an application from a male student, according to the British newspaper The Telegraph.
The school told the newspaper that they do accept male students and hope that more will follow Kenny’s example.
Because all of the students are required to wear Norland-issued uniforms, Kenny was given a specially-ordered tweed jacket and pair of beige trousers, with a matching shirt and tie. Women at the school wear beige dresses.
“I don’t think it should be thought of as unusual if a man wants to work in the childcare profession,” Kenny said in the statement. “Men can bring a different dimension to childcare and I think it is really important that even the youngest children have strong male role models.”
Kenny said he hopes to go into teaching after receiving his degree.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lisa Respers France, CNN Newswire
Allison Pond, Deseret News