A probationer teacher, singleton Marco has turned to teaching as a second career after working for a petrochemical company, having decided he wanted to do something more meaningful with his life. Or so he says. In reality, the cutthroat world of corporate life chewed him up and spat him out, a shrivelled burnt-out wreck. He retrained as a science teacher and assumes teaching is going to be a doddle by comparison. His arrival at Waterloo Road is consequently something of a rude awakening. The kids run rings around him. As Lorna points out, he will never know if he’s cut out to be a teacher or not if he can’t get the kids to sit down.

The pupils find it hard to relate to Marco’s stiff persona and strict adherence to lesson plans. To get them on his side, Marco has to learn that you can’t demand respect it has to be earned – and that the rulebook isn’t always right.