Karen’s top priority when joining Waterloo Road as headteacher was to create a safe and positive school environment where kids can leave their troubles behind and concentrate on their schooling. Karen entered Waterloo Road with a slightly rigid ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy – but soon learned that the lives of her pupils are too chaotic to be straight-jacketed by resolute punishments and has since softened her stance. She will do everything in her power to help a child, but won’t tolerate them infringing on the education of their classmates – it’s all about what’s best for the majority. Karen certainly isn’t a woman to shy away from making controversial decisions such as the trial single-sex schooling policy.

Karen tried to keep her home life separate from the school but found this difficult as she dealt with Bex’s disappearance, Harry’s bulimia and Charlie’s infidelity and their subsequent divorce.

Karen also finds herself at the end of a personal vendetta from Richard Whitman who is determinedto get Karen sacked. She finds comfort in the unlikely arms of Waterloo Road’s caretaker Rob Scotcher and leaves to pursue a relationship with him.