A shooting at school will shape the forthcoming term at Waterloo Road.
The BBC One series, set in a tough Rochdale school and starring Neil Morrissey and Eva Pope, will begin with a 90-minute special in which the gun incident is central.
The school is then forced to employ a security guard, Dave (played by Tim Healy), who takes a shine to French teacher Steph Haydock (played by his real-life wife Denise Welch). However, Steph rebuffs Dave’s advances – he’s not in her league.
The school is also rocked by the arrival of the Kelly family, after head teacher Rachel (Eva) introduces a non-exclusion policy and opens the schools doors to everyone by the addition of creche and adult education classes.
“[The Kellys] manage to have a far-reaching influence across the school and there isn’t anyone who escapes the impact they make,” said a show insider.
Waterloo Road starts at 8pm on Wednesday, January 7.