Betty Cambpell MBE receives life-time achievement award

​07/10/2015

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Cardiff Met honorary fellow, Betty Campbell has been honoured for her life-time contribution to black history in education in Wales.

This special award was sponsored by Unison Cymru Wales’ Black Members’ Group - the first award of its kind in this inaugural ceremony. Betty was presented her award by Kebba Manneh, Chair of Unison Cymru Wales’ Black Members’ Group, and Dr Linda Mitchell, previously Head of Diversity at the BBC.

In the early 1970s, Betty became the nation’s first black head teacher with her post at Mount Stuart Primary in Cardiff. She also became known outside of Wales as an important authority on education and as a leading academic.

Her contribution to the world of education was noted when later she was invited to be part of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Commission on Education. The commission produced many papers on education including the well received book ‘Learning to Succeed’, which included examples of excellent practice at Mount Stuart Primary School.

Betty commented:

“When I was a head in my school I looked at black history, the Caribbean, Africa and slavery and the effects. That was just a junior school. But there were people that said, ‘You should not be teaching that’. But why not? It happened. Children should be made aware. Even now I have ex-pupils in their 60s saying, ‘Thanks for the black history that you taught us’. What should come out is that you can eventually rise up from these depths.”

During the 1980s, Betty became a member of the board of BBC Wales, overseeing editorial and production issues. In 2003, Betty was made an honorary fellow of Cardiff Metropolitan University for services to education and community life, for which she was also awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Betty has also represented the Butetown ward in Cardiff.  

This special award was sponsored by Unison Cymru Wales’ Black Members’ Group, and presented by Kebba Manneh, Chair of the group, and Dr Linda Mitchell, previously Head of Diversity at the BBC.

Kebba said:

We are very proud to be working closely with Black History Month in Wales again this year and it is pleasing to see the events and activities are growing stronger each year, it is something our members identify positively with. Celebrating the role of black history in Wales as a union is key in our objectives and working towards shared goals for the UNISON membership and wider community will ensure that we enhance and maintain a vibrant multi-cultural Wales.”