Waterloo Road Comprehensive is on the scrap heap. It can be found very near the bottom of every league table there is. Its despondent teachers have given up trying to make a difference as they struggle to cope with their own personal problems as well as their nightmare day jobs. When the current Headmaster has a nervous breakdown, Jack Rimer is thrown into the hot seat - very reluctantly. Jack is only too aware of the fate Waterloo Road will suffer if it doesn't improve - and fast. He takes a huge gamble in recruiting optimistic, educational Zealot Andrew Treneman who wants to give up his comfortable private school job to bring the benefits of his elite educational experience to Waterloo Road. Oxbridge educated Andrew is convinced strict discipline is the only way to save the kids and Waterloo Road Comprehensive from closure but he underestimates the massive size of the task. To his dismay, he also discovers a big part of his job is to re-enthuse Jack whose solution to most management problems is a drink down the pub. Together with feisty Guidance Head Kim Campbell the three teachers - all committed in their very different ways - set to turn round Waterloo Road, painful step by painful step.