After Linda’s dramatic exit, there’s a post available at Waterloo Road for a brand new Head of English. Michael tells Tom that he’s asked two candidates into the school for a trial run. As the candidates, Vanessa and Nicki, chat in the staff room, it becomes clear that they are both complete opposites.
Meanwhile, Josh is still finding himself in trouble. Despite feeling the fury of his dad, Tom, it turns out that he’s still on drugs. Also, he’s grown close to the boy who he’s buying them from, Grady. Finn tries to warn Josh off Grady, saying he is trouble, but Josh won’t listen.
Then, when Josh goes to Vanessa’s new mentoring class, he acts dazed and confused before being sick on Vanessa. He then runs out of the school, and it’s only when Nicki finds him and treats him to some tough love that he finally starts to think that he might be in the wrong. Nicki then decides to take him out on her cadet march around the estate with fellow pupils to try and clear his head, as opposed to telling his dad, Tom. However, when Josh then spots Grady selling drugs to a girl – and kissing her – it’s the final straw. They get into a big fight, and Nicki intervenes.
But when they get back to school, Tom is furious with Nicki for not telling him that she knew Josh was back on drugs. Later, as both Vanessa and Nicki are called into Michael Byrne’s office to be given the verdict, they’re both told that they haven’t got the job. On her way out of the school, Nicki then spots Grady outside the school gates. She manages to reprimand him and call the police, forcing Tom to reconsider his view on her. He concedes that she is perfect for Waterloo Road, and she’s appointed the new Head of English.