It's a whole new dawn for Waterloo Road when the school is joined together with the John Foster School. Its pupils are a little posher, a little prouder and a lot more disciplined - or that's how it seems on the surface. It's not long before a culture-clash between the schools becomes a mass turf war, and that's only the beginning of the challenges facing Rachel Mason as Head Teacher. She's also up against a ruthless new Executive Head, Max Tyler, who wants to bring his iron rule to the pupils of Waterloo Road - and won't let anyone stand in his way. Max brings with him a bullying attitude, along with a new teacher and ex-lover, Helen Hopewell. Max's marriage, and severed relationship with Helen, doesn't prevent him seducing teacher Kim Campbell into supporting him, a policy of divide and conquer which soon leaves the school at breaking point. Elsewhere, Steph finds herself under a new department head, the openly lesbian Jo Lipsett, and Tom Clarkson takes on his role of department head responsible for Grantley Budgen and Helen Hopewell. Pupils new and old face problems of their own, as they have to live with the consequences of their actions - and others -from bullying through drink offences, schizophrenia and even murder. It's more than just a new term for Waterloo Road, it's a new beginning. And with every new beginning comes new challenges - but the bigger they are, the harder they fall.