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Wales’s First Black Headteacher commemorated in striking artwork

A giant mural of Betty Campbell MBE has been painted on the front of Mount Stuart Primary School in Butetown, to commemorate Wales’ first black headteacher and celebrate the contributions she made to education in Wales and the wider world.

Mrs Campbell held the role of headteacher at Mount Stuart Primary School from 1965 until 1999 and dedicated her life to the school. She was a pioneer in multi-cultural education, diversity and a founder of Black History Month, putting the teaching of black history and culture on the school’s curriculum.

Credit: Cardiff Council

Children at the school have learned about her legacy and wanted something at the school site to remember her. With support from the Governing Body and funding from Cardiff University, artist Bradley Rmer who painted the iconic ‘My City, My Shirt’ was commissioned to paint the 10-metre tall mural.

Helen Borley, Headteacher at Mount Stuart Primary School said: “We are immensely proud of our school’s connection to Mrs Campbell as Mount Stuart’s first headteacher and Wales’s first Black Headteacher. She is a continued inspiration to us and our community. Mrs Campbell’s legacy is a powerful message of what you can achieve given determination and drive.”

Pupils from the school Aqeel and Joudi said: “It reminds us that Mrs Campbell was the first Black headteacher in Wales, she inspires us to never give up and follow our dreams no matter what your skin colour is or what is in your way.

“This mural is like a cherry on the top of the school! If visitors come they will admire it!”

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “Betty Campbell is an iconic figure who’s approach to education and diversity has had an outstanding impact on the people of Butetown, Cardiff and beyond.

“I know that many children from the school helped in the design process for the Betty Campbell statue in Cardiff’s Central Square and now they have they own reminder of Betty, taking pride of place at the school. This wonderful painting is a reminder to the whole community of the local heritage and the significant part Betty played in it.”

Damian Walford-Davies, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Cardiff University said: “Cardiff University is a proudly Welsh institution, located in our diverse and thriving capital city. We are on our own journey towards achieving race equality in our University and are committed to becoming an anti-racist institution and to supporting race equality across Wales.

Betty Campbell, the first black female headteacher in Wales, is a Welsh hero and campaigner for social justice. Her tireless efforts to secure race equality had a huge impact in Cardiff and in Wales. Cardiff University has funded this mural project to recognise the enormous contribution Betty Campbell made to our Cardiff community, and to support the commemoration of her legacy in our city.”