|Series 8 Episode 1|
|BBC transmission date||Thu 23 Aug 2012|
|Created By||Ann McManus and Maureen Chadwick|
|Writer|| Ann McManus |
|Production Company||Shed Production (WR) Ltd|
|Previous episode||Series Seven Episode Thirty|
|Next episode||Series Eight Episode Two|
As the new school opens in Scotland, headteacher Michael has his work cut out dealing with a pair of runaway teens and a burgeoning rivalry with a local headmaster. Elsewhere, Scout is targeted by a bully and Tariq struggles with his newfound situation.
On the run from a foster home, teenager Jade shares a squat with her controlling boyfriend Drew but dreams of a better life. She announces that she’s going to school at Waterloo Road and despite his fear the authorities will find out about them, Drew is persuaded to enroll too.
Michael and Sian arrive at the new Waterloo Road. The local press reaction to the school has been largely positive, except one story reporting discontent from Gerard Findlay, headmaster of rival school Havelock High, who claims Waterloo Road are stealing his pupils.
The school is buzzing as Jade and Drew arrive. Despite not being registered at Waterloo Road Drew uses his charisma to win Lorraine over – but it’s not long before Tom sees an angry side to the new boy.
When Michael offers Jade, but not Drew, accommodation in the school house, Drew reacts angrily, forcing his girlfriend to reveal a secret which will have far-reaching consequences for the pair.
In the staffroom, new teachers Christine Mulgrew and Audrey McFall introduce themselves to Waterloo Road’s familiar faces. Not everyone is enthusiastic about the new school and Tom bemoans Michael’s regime. But English teacher Christine doesn’t seem keen to be drawn into any staff discussions, keeping herself to herself. It’s only when Grantly suggests the teaching team go for a drink after school that Christine’s interest is spiked.
Elsewhere, Tariq struggles to adjust to his new life as a paraplegic and Rhiannon starts a bullying campaign against Scout.
- Alec Newman as Michael Byrne
- Jaye Jacobs as Sian Diamond
- Jason Done as Tom Clarkson
- Chelsee Healey as Janeece Bryant
- Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lorraine Donnegan
- Philip Martin Brown as Grantly Budgen
- Mark Benton as Daniel Chalk
- Melanie Hill as Maggie Croft
- Laurie Brett as Christine Mulgrew
- Georgie Glen as Audrey McFall
- William Rush as Josh Stevenson
- Naveed Choudhry as Tariq Siddiqui
- Benjamin Gur as Angus Hancock
- Katie McGlynn as Jodi "Scout" Allen
- Kaya Moore as Phoenix Taylor
- Rebecca Craven as Rhiannon Salt
- Kirstie Steele as Imogen Stewart
- Shane O'Meara as Connor Mulgrew
- Kane Tomlinson-Weaver as Harley Taylor
- Marlene Madenge as Lula Tsibi
- Paige Meade as Jade Fleming
- Max Fowler as Drew Kelly
- Alex Norton as Gerard Findlay
- Julie Duncanson as Nurse Laidlow
- Kenneth Harvey as Police Officer
- First appearances of Christine Mulgrew, Audrey McFall, Connor Mulgrew, Rhiannon Salt, Imogen Stewart, Lula Tsibi, Angus 'Gus' Hancock, Gerard Findlay and Jade Fleming.
- First episode that sets in Greenock.
- First episode that features Waterloo Road as an independent school.
- First mention of Denzil Kelly's death.
- Tariq's first appearance as a paraplegic.