26th September 2008 at 01:00

Child behaviour guru Tanya Byron has agreed to become chancellor of Edge Hill University because of its feminist history as the first non- denominational teacher training college for women.

Even the post's luxuriant ceremonial gown is in green, purple and gold - the official colours of the suffragette movement.

But Dr Byron's love of the Pankhurstian, corset-burning roots of the institution does not mean she has lost her sense of style.

In an exclusive interview with The TES, the academic, TV star, scriptwriter and columnist revealed she is not particularly happy about the look she will have to sport for her first official duties on October 1. "There's a ridiculous cloak and hat. My children were laughing at it," she said.

But she has a plan: "As long as I can wear a Vivienne Westwood frock underneath, I don't mind," she said. Perhaps the designer's more subdued range is in mind.

Apart from her official duties, Dr Byron has been taking the time to meet some of Edge Hill's 2,000 trainee teachers and other students, which have included men since 1959, when the institution became a mixed college.

Perhaps it's no coincidence that Dr Byron has got Vivienne on the brain; She's been working with comedienne Jennifer Saunders on the next series of Vivienne Vyle, a satire of daytime TV confessional shows.

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