(North London Collegiate School 1978 -1985)
Looking back fondly on her years as a pupil at North London Collegiate School, clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron said in a recent interview that she “ admired the way women pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in terms of thinking and learning.” Of her favourite member of staff, English teacher Kay Moore, she said “Her teaching methods were really engaging: it was very much about bringing the subject alive and you could really feel her love for it.”
Although initially she did not have a great passion for academia, a family tragedy sparked her interest in how people behave and why they make the choices that they do, and decided to go to university. Clearly her time at school helped to shape her into the woman that she is today. Writing of a Geography field trip to Studland Bay when she was in the Sixth Form, she said “the week was very great fun, despite having to work until the early hours of each morning.”
She has enjoyed an exciting career ranging from being a practitioner to taking part in journalism and broadcasting. Working towards a career in clinical psychology, she was awarded her first degree from the University of York, before she went on to study for a Masters at University College, London. She finally earned a doctorate from University College Hospital and the University of Surrey, for her work on drug addiction.
Perhaps best known for her appearances as a child therapist, on television shows such as Little Angels and The House of Tiny Tearaways, Tanya Byron also works regularly on BBC television programmes relating to child behaviour, science and current affairs and presented the BBC radio programme All in the Mind, which focuses on issues to do with psychology and psychiatry.
Her articles can be found regularly in The Times, Good Housekeeping, and Girl Talk Magazine. She has produced a sitcom with comedienne Jennifer Saunders and advises the government on issues such as digital safety for children. One of the most interesting moments in Byron’s career was when she was commissioned by the Prime Minister in 2007 to investigate the harmful effects that internet and video games have on children. The final result became known as The Byron Review, published in March 2008. She has also published three books and recently became the chancellor of Edge Hill University and the Professor of the Public Understanding of Science. Now working in one or two clinics weekly, Byron also acts as the patron for the charity Prospex, which works with young people residing in North London.
Tanya Bryon is married to The Bill actor Bruce Byron and they have two children: Lily, 13 and Jack, 10.
Written & researched: Nadia Odunayo (Sixth Form IB Student)
Website Sub-Editor: Natalie Dragic (Yr 12)
1. TES Magazine 5 June, 2009
2. NLCS Magazine, 1984