A FORMER ironman triathlete, who can do a mean impression of a dinosaur, has taken up the challenge of leading Barry’s Whitmore High School.

Economics and business specialist, Innes Robinson began his new head teacher role earlier this month, September.

Mr Robinson, dad to four-year-old and two-year-old boys, previously taught at Highbury Grove School, in Islington, London, from 2007 to 2010; Cardiff High School, from 2010 to 2015; and Eastern High School, in Cardiff, from 2015 to 2019.

Mr Robinson, 35, said: “I started teaching at Highbury Grove School through the nationally acclaimed Teach First scheme which aims to place graduates from top universities into the most challenged and deprived schools in the country.

“I loved the school and became head of economics and head of outdoor education.

“My wife and I decided to move to Cardiff where I became head of economics and business at Cardiff High School.

“This was a superb experience in which I learnt a great deal as part of a truly excellent school.

“In 2015, Eastern High School experienced significant difficulties due to the merging of Llanrumney and Rumney High School.

“I was seconded from Cardiff High to be deputy head teacher at Eastern.

“I am immensely proud of the work the staff have done at Eastern High School over the last four years to transform it into a thriving, oversubscribed school.”

“I see the opportunity at Whitmore as unique,” he said. “It is very rare that you get the chance to take over a new school, with an outstanding group of teachers and the prospect of a new, state of the art building.

“In my first few weeks, I have been incredibly impressed with the staff who work hard every day to ensure students are happy and achieve their potential.

“The students are just as impressive, working hard in lessons and most importantly they are kind and supportive of each other.

“I believe that alongside academic success, students need to opportunities to develop their interests outside of the classroom.

“The school has outstanding drama, music, and PE departments which allows the school to provide extensive extra-curricular opportunities for students.

“I watched the school production of Oliver in July and I cannot wait to see what they come up with this year!

“In addition, the school has leased a second minibus to allow the students to compete in even more matches and tournaments.

“I want every child to leave Whitmore High School proud of who they are and confident they can achieve anything they put their mind to.”

Mr Robinson said pupils, staff, the school family, and the community could expect him to always be positive, even on a Monday morning.

He pledged to work hard and always be honest.

And of his own ‘outside school’ activities, Mr Robinson added: “I really believe in the benefits of challenging yourself, so I like to take part in various endurance events.

“I completed an Ironman triathlon a few years back but since having children and having less time to train, I stick to ultra-marathons.

“This year I’ve told all the students in assembly that I am going to compete in my first 100 mile Ultra next September.

“I’m hoping the pressure of telling them will make sure I train.

“I have become obsessed with paddle boarding since getting a static caravan in West Wales so if you see someone out at Whitmore Bay early in the morning, it will probably be me.

“Most importantly I spend my time playing with my fantastic two boys, usually pretending to be a dinosaur.”