*Warning* This blog contains spoilers from The Dumping Ground series 4 so, if you’re not up to date, you might want to catch up on iPlayer before you read on.
It’s official; The Dumping Ground is back, and we couldn't be more excited! This page is your go-to guide for all the latest drama at Ashdene Ridge, so keep checking back to make sure you don't miss any of the action.
To chat about The Dumping Ground head over to The Dumping Ground Fan Club page.
Season Premiere: Episodes One and Two
It starts with a bang in the season premiere, as Bailey's mum returns.
At first, Bailey doesn't want anything to do with his mum. She walked out on him when he was a toddler, so why should he care that she's here now?
Gradually though he starts to imagine having the relationship with his mum that he's always wanted and, convinced that he's about to land a football scholarship, puts his name down for a flat for them both to live in together.
Bailey's plan to support himself and his mum is ruined when his manager tells him he won't be offered a scholarship. How can he keep his dream of living with his mum now when neither of them can afford it?
Meanwhile in The Dumping Ground, a surprise OFSTED inspection gets off to a shaky start and, worried Ashdene Ridge will be closed down, the kids decide to stage a Shakespeare play.
Bailey is shocked when his dad turns up and reveals that the woman claiming to be his mum is actually his mum's old friend Bryony. Bryony hasn't seen Bailey's real mum in years, but noticed Bailey's photo in the paper and thought she could get a share of his money if he became a famous footballer.
The play is a success, and the OFSTED inspectors are really impressed at the kids' loyalty to Ashdene Ridge; they announce that The Dumping Ground will receive a clean bill of health.
Watching the performance makes Bailey realise that he needs to rebuild bridges with his dad, and they agree to try and keep in touch more regularly.
In episode three it's all about dance. Carmen and Tee plan to enter a street dance competition but there's one problem; they can't breakdance. Jody, always keen for an opportunity to wind up Carmen, pulls off some impressive moves in front of the duo.
Tee convinces Carmen that they need Jody in their team if they are to stand any chance of winning, whilst Tyler encourages Jody to join the girls in order to show off her talent. Reluctantly, they agree to collaborate and rehearsals are going well.
Also this week; Mike decides to save money by tackling a few odd jobs around the house himself, and Billie and Toni are more than happy to help out.
When the repairs Mike thought he'd completed start falling apart, Billie eventually confesses that she was in fact undoing Mike's work. Helping him mend things reminded her of her mum so she didn't want to run out of things to fix.
Toni realises that never talking about their mum is upsetting Billie rather than protecting her, and promises to talk about their mum more often.
Back to the dance competition; Things start to unravel for Jody when she learns there will be a huge audience at the competition, and she runs out of the dress rehearsal overcome with nerves.
Tyler explains to the others that Jody's insecurity goes back to the way her mum and brother used to treat her - they made her feel that she was rubbish at everything.
He forces Jody to watch the video he recorded on his phone of her dancing to show her that she really is good - all she needs to do is have faith in herself.
Jody tells Carmen and Tee that she will enter the competition after all but they insist that it wouldn't be fair on her. Instead the trio put on a show for the other Dumping Ground residents and, now that Jody has started to believe in herself, the dance is a massive hit.
When Mo hears a local police report talking about aliens, he is sure there are extra-terrestrials in the neighbourhood. The other Dumping Ground residents tease Mo but he vows to prove them all wrong, and when he spots a boy acting strangely in the park he's convinced he's found the alien.
The next day Mo tracks down the 'alien' and brings him back to Ashdene Ridge. The boy, Allen, knows about space and seems interested in Mo's radio. When he suggests that he can boost the radio signal, Mo is certain he's found the alien - who now wants to 'phone home'.
Also this week; Tee is thrilled when fitness freak Zach asks her out, but doubts herself when Ryan hints that Zach is only interested in ‘model types’. She starts an exercise routine and gets a new sporty wardrobe in an attempt to appeal to Zach’s taste – despite Carmen and Sasha’s reservations.
The date is a disaster and things go from bad to worse when Tee pulls a muscle during a squash game. Unimpressed, Zach brings Tee back to Ashdene Ridge and suggests that he could help Sasha or Carmen get fit instead.
Back to Mo; After boosting the radio signal Bailey points out that if Allen is trying to contact home, he might be planning to leave. Realising he could lose his new friend, Mo is conflicted and sabotages their work on the radio. A furious Allen storms off but Mo goes to his flat and apologises, explaining he had so much fun fixing up the radio that he wanted them to continue working on it.
The boys repair the radio and make contact - not with an alien spaceship, but with Allen's dad who works at a remote scientific research station.
Allen gets emotional so Mo steps in and tells Allen's dad how much Allen is missing him. Allen's dad says he will arrange for Allen and his mum to move closer to the research station so they can see each other more often.
Mo and Allen agree to keep in touch over the radio, and Mo thanks Bailey for being such a good friend.
Hearing Zach's outrageous comments make Tee realise that she shouldn’t pretend to be someone she isn’t just to impress a boy; she's great just the way she is. Together Tee, Carmen and Sasha chase Zach out of the Dumping Ground. You go girls!
When Ryan is accused of pushing Finn down the stairs, he is outraged and demands to be transferred to another care home.
Tyler wants to enter a journalism competition in order to win a new camera and thinks Finn’s dramatic fall will make the perfect story.
The other kids think writing news stories is easy so May-Li challenges them all to contribute something to their own Ashdene Ridge newspaper, with a tub of ice-cream up for grabs for person who writes the best article.
Mo stages a reconstruction of Finn’s fall and establishes that Ryan couldn’t have pushed him. What's more, Finn is caught out helping himself to some biscuits with his 'bad arm'; it turns out he wasn't hurt at all!
Tee and Sasha apologise to Ryan but are still suspicious, and eavesdrop on a conversation between him and his sister Chloe when she’s invited to Ashdene Ridge.
The girls are shocked when they hear Chloe blame Ryan for the accident that left her in a wheelchair.
Sasha and Tee spill the beans to the other kids leaving Mike trying to shut down the rumours, but Ryan overhears and blames Mike for revealing his secret.
Tyler decides to investigate Chloe’s accident and goes with Mike to the site of Chloe’s fall. They speak to a witness of the accident and, after telling Ryan and Chloe what they’ve heard, the siblings realise that their mum told a lie to conceal her neglect; Ryan was never to blame for what happened to Chloe.
Mike tells the other residents of Ashdene Ridge the truth, and Ryan agrees to stay in touch with Chloe.
Tyler's new article about Ryan and Chloe's reunion wins him the competition, but he agrees to withdraw when Ryan isn't comfortable with his life story being made public. May-Li awards Tyler the ice-cream for his mature decision.
Ryan tells Mike that all is forgiven, but the Dumping Ground kids have found out more about his past than he ever wanted them to know.
Tee attends a college interview for an art course but becomes increasingly daunted by the prospect of life outside of Ashdene Ridge.
While Tee’s nerves cause her to run out of her interview, Carmen accidentally walks into a mime class and gets offered a place on a drama course.
Meeting up to swap stories afterwards, Carmen is excited to tell Tee that they’ll be together at college but Tee turns on her, accusing her of stealing her plans and only thinking of herself.
Back at the care home, Carmen is hurt and goes out of her way to help the others in a bid to show that she isn’t selfish.
Also this week: When Billie and Toni see some newspaper adverts for dogs in need of a home, they suggest to Floss, Finn and Harry that they create advertisements for themselves.
The newspaper won’t take the adverts, so Toni suggests they stick their posters up around the local area.
Floss tries to sabotage the plan, but the others fall out with her for not wanting to join in.
May-Li finds out what’s been happening when she starts receiving strange phone calls. She tells the group that they should never advertise their personal details to the world; anyone could be reading the posters and it isn't safe.
May-Li decides to let the group off with a warning, provided they make up with Floss who was right to not join in.
Back to Tee: At a low, Tee burns her artwork and confesses to Mike that she’s terrified of leaving Ashdene Ridge.
He reminds her that she may not be part of a conventional family, but he will always be there for her.
Tee apologises to Carmen, who admits that she’s not really sure she wants to sign up for three years of miming.
She reveals that the college wanted to offer Tee a place on the strength of her artwork, so she phoned them pretending to be Tee and accepted the place.
Reunited as best friends, the girls team up to get their revenge on the others for taking advantage of Carmen when she tried to be helpful.
Sasha starts recording her first vlog but is interrupted by Floss and the twins playing a prank.
As if she wasn’t angry enough, Ryan then teases her for saying she’s ‘a young woman’ even though she has a room full of cuddly toys.
She throws out her toys and tries to vent to Carmen and Tee, but they are preoccupied planning a birthday party for Kazima.
Feeling isolated, Sasha goes to visit her brother but is hurt when her mum says that, despite sorting herself out, she isn’t ready to have Sasha back home again.
Meanwhile at Ashdene Ridge; Kazima tells the others that she doesn’t want a birthday party - she is worried as she hasn’t heard from her dad since he went to find her brother in Somalia. The others tell Kazima they’re still having a party but it isn’t for her; it’s for the Somalian singer, Magool.
Mo and Bailey remind Kazima that many of the others don't hear from their parents. Kazima realises the value of her Ashdene Ridge family and gets into the party spirit.
Back to Sasha; On her way back to the Dumping Ground Sasha bumps into an old friend, Tommo, who says they should get their own place together.
He convinces Sasha that they should burgle a house to get the money they’ll need. He sends Sasha in first but runs off when she gets caught. She’s furious but Tommo talks her round with the promise of a room in a squat.
Sasha is tempted until Kazima steps in and reminds Sasha of how loyal the DG kids are to one another.
Sasha realises she’s better off where she is and rejects Tommo and his plan for a life of crime.
She makes amends with the other kids, gets her own back on Ryan and completes her blog post; now happy with who she is.
When Tyler learns about a Children In Care Council Forum he volunteers to be the representative for Ashdene Ridge, but Floss announces that she would like the position.
May-Li suggests they hold an election, with the others voting for who they would like to represent them.
Mike is not impressed; he’s massively behind with his paperwork and has already forgotten to do a risk assessment for Harry. He’s also got Carmen nagging him to update her care file.
Floss looks to be ahead in the election race but at the last minute she realises just how much work the forum role involves, so she convinces the twins to vote for Tyler and give him the victory.
Mike confesses to May-Li that, against the rules, he had taken Carmen’s care file home to finish. He goes to retrieve it but his car has been broken into and his bag, containing the file, is missing.
Mike reveals that he will have to leave Ashdene Ridge while the incident is investigated.
As Mike leaves the Dumping Ground all of the kids are in shock... except for one. Ryan! He has Mike’s bag with the missing care file, and he stashes it in his wardrobe.
Check out this exclusive report from Newsround with Jenny explaining what's happened.
With everyone missing Mike, Kazima suggests a day out to a theme park to cheer them all up. A sulking Harry doesn’t want to go so Ryan and Carmen stay behind to look after him.
May-Li and the others never make it to the theme park; the minibus breaks down leaving them stranded in the countryside.
While May-Li and Mo go in search of help, Kazima is left in charge. Bailey leads the group off to find a burger bar but they end up going round in circles and it’s up to Kazima to use her survival skills to keep the group safe until May-Li and Mo return.
Harry goes missing and Ryan and Carmen set off to find him. During the search Carmen confesses to Ryan that she was the one who reported Mike to the police. Seeing a way to avoid the blame, Ryan encourages Carmen to tell the others.
Eventually they track Harry down at Mike's house. Ryan sees how much Mike's suspension is upsetting Harry.
Mike takes them all back to Ashdene Ridge and Carmen tells him she's thinking of admitting to the others that it was her who reported him. Mike advises her against it; they might not take it well and he wouldn't want them to blame Carmen for his mistake.
Carmen talks to Ryan and he agrees to keep her secret.
When the others finally make it home everyone enjoys a game of rounders but Ryan stays back; is he starting to feel guilty about what he's done?
As the campaign to Save Mike gathers momentum, BBC Look North have made this report.
It’s the day of Mike’s hearing and, with the prospect of a replacement care worker now on the cards, Ryan decides he has to act.
His first two ideas of writing letters to Mike’s bosses and manipulating Carmen into going to speak at the hearing don’t work.
In one last risky move, Ryan sneaks Carmen’s care file into the office and suggests to the others that if they find Mike’s time sheets they can prove he was overworked.
The plan is a success; Tee and Kazima find Carmen’s file in the recycling bin, May-Li takes them all to the hearing and Mike is officially allowed his job back.
Back at Ashdene Ridge, Mike is still confused as to how Carmen’s file ended up in the office; he is certain that he left it in his car.
When Kazima tells him it was Ryan’s idea to search the office he finally works out what’s happened.
Mike confronts Ryan and Ryan confesses all. Mike tells Ryan that things are ok between them, but he’s on his final warning.
It’s been another incredible series; we hope you’ve enjoyed it. Don’t forget you can head over to The Dumping Ground Fan Club page to comment and chat with other Dumping Ground superfans!
Mike is saved!
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