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Pupils’ artwork on show at Cardiff’s School of Art and Design to mark Betty Campbell monument unveiling

News | 27 September 2021

Bright and colourful drawing of Betty, made by one of the pupils

Cardiff Metropolitan University’s School of Art and Design has invited pupils from Betty Campbell’s former school, Mount Stuart Primary, to display their artwork as part of a special exhibition to mark the unveiling of the monument dedicated to Wales’ first black Headteacher. 

Celebrations to mark the unveiling of Wales’ first monument of a named Welsh woman, following a public vote in 2019, are taking place across the city, including a special exhibition on the former education college campus where Betty began her teaching career.

Pupils from Mount Stuart Primary, where Betty taught for almost 30 years, have curated a new exhibition to mark her remarkable life, following a series of classes looking back at her teaching and civic life.  

Championing the nation’s multicultural heritage throughout her life, Betty Campbell defied her critics by becoming a formidable force in Wales’ education and political life. 

Born in Butetown, Betty was raised in Cardiff’s docklands, famously known as Tiger Bay. Winning a scholarship to Lady Margaret High School for Girls in Cardiff, Betty’s passion for education saw her become one of the first women admitted to the Cardiff Teacher Training College (now Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy), before becoming a teacher and Wales’ first black Headteacher – starting a life-long mission to embed Wales’ multicultural heritage in early-years teaching. 

Speaking about the unveiling, Professor Cara Aitchison, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Met said: “Betty Campbell’s influence is felt across the education sector here in Wales and around the UK. 

“Passion and belief in education is what drives many of us into teaching. For Betty, that passion and belief helped her in breaking down the barriers which stood in the way of her ambition to enter the teaching profession. Her determination paid off and she became a formidable force and advocate for the power of education in transforming lives. 

“I’m delighted we’re able to join in with the celebrations in this way, sharing the work undertaken by pupils from Betty’s former school where her positive influence lives on in the legacy she leaves behind.”

Julia Longville, Dean of the Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy, said: “Betty Campbell was, and remains a giant of the education community. She proved her doubters wrong becoming a figure head for education in her community and beyond. Her determination remains a source of inspiration for teachers, pupils, and the curriculum today.

“Her work to bring the multicultural stories of the community, and her own life, to the forefront of classroom learning was revolutionary, and in many ways has laid the foundation for the work being done today to encourage more diversity across the sector. 

“Betty’s light shines bright, and long may her ideals continue to inspire.”

The exhibition will run from 27 September – 01 October at the Cardiff School of Art and Design.