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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Waterloo Road: episode synopsis

(L-R Finn Sharkey (Jack McMullen), Jonah Kirby (Lucien Laviscount), Ronan Burley (Ben Ryan Davies) and Josh Stevenson (William Rush)

Episode one

Waterloo Road is back and it's a fresh start for the school, with the arrival of dynamic new head teacher Karen Fisher, played by Amanda Burton.

Karen's first challenge at the school arrives in the form of the Kirbys – sixth former Jonah and 13-year-old genius Ruth, who have both been homeschooled by their father, Marcus.

Marcus's ex-wife, Hannah, wants her children to experience mainstream schooling, but he has little faith in the state education system. While Jonah relishes the opportunity to make new friends and have new experiences, high achiever Ruth feels she's got little to learn – she soon takes matters into her own hands and runs away.

When the school staff discover Ruth's disappearance, they alert the police and create a search party. But the process proves particularly hard for Karen, as it is a painful reminder of her own family situation.

Meanwhile, deputy head Chris Mead finds himself in the middle of a professional crisis. After meeting a young woman in a club the previous evening, and spending the night with her, a smitten Chris arrives at school to discover that not only is she a new sixth form student, but she's also Karen's daughter, Jess Fisher.

He tries to draw a line under the incident, but Jess has other ideas about their relationship, leaving Chris no choice but to resign, adamant that he can't remain as Jess's teacher in this situation or, for that matter, Karen's deputy.

Elsewhere, attractive new Spanish teacher Francesca "Cesca" Montoya makes an impression on staff and students alike and former pupil Janeece returns to the school as the new secretary, complete with a surprise of her own.

In the playground, Lauren has fallen out with Sam, annoyed that her "best mate" ditched her all summer – for a bloke.

Information about future episodes will be published in BBC TV Programme Information.

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