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Highland teacher John Naples-Campbell, depute head teacher at Glen Urquhart High School, wins educator of the year at the Proud Scotland Awards


By Louise Glen

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John Naples-Cambell with judge Louise Bailey and his partner, Graeme Summers.
John Naples-Cambell with judge Louise Bailey and his partner, Graeme Summers.

The depute head teacher of a Highland school has been named as educator of the year at the Proud Scotland Awards.

John Naples-Campbell (40), who works at Glen Urquhart High School in Drumnadrochit, won the accolade at the award ceremony in Edinburgh at the weekend.

The Proud Scotland Awards celebrates the LGBTQI+ community by recognising the outstanding work and commitment of individuals and organisations within, and supportive of gay rights, in Scotland.

Mr Naples-Campbell believes that education is the key to reducing bigotry in Scotland and as a nation, he said: "We should be thankful to the work of teachers, educational establishments and all who work in the sector to help educate others on LGBTQI+ issue."

The Moray-based educator was up against acclaimed screen writer Russel T Davis famed for It’s a Sin, Queer as Folk and Doctor Who for the award.

He continued: "I am completely overwhelmed to have received this award from Proud Scotland.

John Naples-Campbell with Gayle Telfer Steven (BBC River City).
John Naples-Campbell with Gayle Telfer Steven (BBC River City).

"Growing up under Section 28, I never thought one day I’d be celebrating the lives of the LGBTQI+ community in our schools. The shadows of Section 28 are still very much in our corridors but we are changing this every day by the wonderful work of our educators and young people who want to see change."

Section 28 was a series of laws across the UK that prohibited the "promotion of homosexuality" by local authorities. In Scotland, it was repealed in 2000.

Mr Naples-Campbell said: "Scotland recently became the first country in the world to implement an LGBT inclusive education as part of the curriculum for excellence."

Mr Naples-Campbell was instrumental in making this happen as part of the Time for Inclusive Education campaign.

Over the course of his career he has trained more than 500 teachers across Scotland in how to make their classrooms more inclusive as well as developing resources to be used in schools.

He became the first teacher in Scotland to be recognised by the General Teaching Council of Scotland for his work in this area.

Other award winners on the night included BAFTA nominee Annie Wallace from Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks who was given the judges award for her trail blazing work in TV and trans rights and Russel T Davis who won the award of the night for his work on the acclaimed drama It’s a Sin.

The awards were held in Edinburgh and hosted by ‘It’s a Sin’ actor David Carlyle.

READ: 'Education is the most powerful tool we have to tackle prejudice' – John Naples-Campbell, depute head teacher at Glen Urquhart High School in Highland Council, has been nominated for the educator award at this year's Proud Scotland Awards


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