Waterloo Road focuses on the life of the pupils and teachers at Waterloo Road School in Rochdale. It is now in its third series and features Jason Merells as Headteacher Jack Rimmer and Denise Welch as Steph. The new series also introduces Neil Morrisey as Deputy Head, Eddie Lawson.
The programme contains a number of continual storylines interspersed with new ones. At the end of Series Two, Izzy was stabbed to death, just as she had managed to resume her relationship with fellow teacher Tom Clarkson. Jack Rimmer is receiving therapy for the incident as Izzy was protecting him when it happened. Tom is left to bring up her two teenage daughters – Chlo (who has recently married her boyfriend Donte) and Mika.
Jasmine Kureshi is a new teacher to the school and only recently qualified. She has been having trouble in controlling her class. As they shout “Who are ya?” to her, she decides to put them in detention for the evening, but does not realise that it is the first football match for the Waterloo Road girls’ team. She is on the verge of quitting completely when Eddie Lawson suggests that she helps Tom to coach the team and get to know them better, and that detention is postponed. The girls are even unimpressed as she shows that she is proficient in “keepy uppy”. During the match, 2 of the girls – Janeece and Maxine are taken off as they have been falsely selling raffle tickets for a prize holiday. This puts the school in an awkward position, so the Headmaster raffles of a weekend trip to Paris (which he has just bought).
As the football team is down to 9 people, Jasmine goes on as substitute and manages to help the team to draw the match. She is finally accepted by the pupils.
Donte has been behaving a bit suspiciously but has been looking for a flat for him and new wife (Chlo) to live in. She has been receiving some tuition in French from her sister’s boyfriend Brett Aspinall. However, things get a little out of hand and they sleep together in the new flat. Elsewhere Steph shows her interest in new music teacher but is unaware that he is gay. At the end of the programme she gets drunk (for a change ) and ends up kissing Jack (who is missing his girlfriend Davina).
Waterloo Road works well as it is almost like an adult version of “Grange Hill” and has something for a range of age groups. It shows how the teachers’ and children’s lives interact and the pressures that both groups face.