BBC1 / Thursdays @ 8.00pm
The popular school drama is back for a third term soon on BBC 1, Jason Merrells is still there as headmaster Jack Rimmer but Angela Griffin and Jamie Glover as Kim and Andrew are gone, their characters busy in Rwanda. Which means of course there is a new deputy head in the shape of Neil Morrissey as Eddie Lawson.
As the series returns the school is firmly in the spotlight following the murder of drama teacher Izzie Redpath (Jill Halfpenny). Although head teacher Jack Rimmer (Jason Merrells) won a national bravery award, he secretly blames himself for Izzie's death.
This, together with his drive and determination to improve exam results, leads Jack into taking a high-risk approach to secure the school's future success.
It's with the love and support of Davina Shackleton (Christina Tremarco) that Jack's able to strive – until he pushes that love one step too far.
Meanwhile, Tom (Jason Done) is reeling from the loss of Izzie and also blames Jack for her death, whilst struggling to maintain a normal life playing single dad to Chlo (Katie Griffiths) and Mika (Lauren Drummond).
To add to his problems, Chlo and Donte (Adam Thomas) are set on tying the knot – the beginning of a testing journey which leads to a trail of broken hearts.
Waterloo Road is on mission to embrace its policy on inclusion: no matter the circumstances or abilities, all kids are welcome at the school – resulting in a
host of new faces among the pupils including Karla Bentham (Jessica Baglow), an Asperger's sufferer. Karla has an uncanny knack of creating mayhem and Grantly Budgen (Philip Martin Brown) is first to be on the receiving end.
Davina Shackleton, now a teaching assistant, has the task of supporting Karla and taking time to understand her needs. Unfortunately, not everyone in the school, both pupils and teachers, are as tolerant.
The new Deputy Head, Eddie Lawson, is an excellent teacher who earns the respect of nearly all of his colleagues. Eddie's desire to do things by the book soon brings him into conflict with Jack, however, who has a reputation for cutting corners. Eddie is now single, following a recent divorce, but, with the arrival of a new member of staff, sparks are soon starting to fly.
Elsewhere, new drama teacher Matt Walker (Chris Geere) plans to grab the headlines with the school's first musical, Park Side Story. Matt's popular with staff and pupils, but he has a secret which he feels he can't divulge. However, following an incident that leaves him hospitalised, he has no option but to reveal all.
In her new role, caring, but inept, Steph Haydock continues to lurch from one gaffe to the next, although her heart is in the right place. Steph is still trying to find love, and has her sights set on both Jack and Matt.
Meanwhile, work-shy Grantly is delighted to have new rookie Jasmine Koreshi (Shabana Bakhsh) to foist his dirty work upon. He also has several problems at home that eventually spill over into his working life.