A retired headteacher has been named as the second recipient of the Edinburgh Peace Award for embracing multiculturalism within the classroom.
David Fleming, the former head of Dalry Primary School, was awarded the prize at the Festival of Spirituality and Peace closing event at St John’s Episcopal Church in the Capital on Sunday.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill attended the event, hailing it a “resounding success” while explaining that life is “more than money and material wellbeing”.
Mr Fleming was presented with the Edinburgh Peace Award – co-sponsored by the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, Edinburgh City Council and the Edinburgh Inter-faith Association – by Meadows and Morningside councillor Melanie Main.
The honour marks a contribution each year to international understanding.
While Mr Fleming was at the helm of Dalry Primary School he imbued as its slogan “one nation, many clans” and had more than 100 flags from across the globe flying on its premises.
The Reverend Donald Reid, former director of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, who helped inaugurate the prize last year, said Mr Fleming was a “shining example” of someone who had helped to build community understanding and peaceful engagement at a local level with international resonances.
Councillor Main paid warm tribute to the former headteacher. She said: “I am delighted to present Mr David Fleming with the second Edinburgh Peace Prize. David has just recently retired as headteacher of Dalry Primary School where he embraced multiculturalism.
“Dalry Primary school became a model of multi-culturalism, celebrating the international and interfaith diversity of its students and their parents. National flags hang in their assembly hall and the school has embraced and made its own the ‘One Scotland Many Cultures’ vision of Scotland and ensured it is reality in Dalry.”
Speaking after the ceremony, Cllr Main said Mr Fleming was a “very charismatic” individual and a “tremendous leader” at his school who had confessed to learning five facts about every one of his 250 pupils.
Raymond Baudon, chair of the board for the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, said: “As last year was an international recipient we were wanting to honour a local recipient his year. The award is in its early years, but is an important way to honour others who share our vision of a peaceful world and who do extraordinary things to achieve that.
“We were delighted to honour David Fleming.”
Mr Fleming said that he was grateful for the award but wished to receive on behalf of all he had worked with at Dalry Primary School.