Daniel Chalk 'Chalky' - Played by Mark Benton
Occupation: Mathematics Teacher
Duration: Series 7 Episode 1 - Present.
Chalky is an accident waiting to happen. Nervy, with a bad haircut and old fashioned clothes, the minute he steps into a classroom every kid smells an easy kill. Incredibly bright and academic, on paper Chalky is every head’s dream. In reality he’s completely detached from the real world, out of date and out of touch – but only in his late 30s.
Chalky comes to Waterloo Road, straight from the all-boys school and despite being on the receiving end of many a joke and prank, Chalky got by as a teacher – even gaining the respect of much of the class, simply through knowing his subject so well. Maths suits Chalky. It requires no opinion, no emotion and no modernisation. Equations will always be equations, they don’t follow trends, or require an understanding of popular culture – of which he has none.
Chalky has become a bit of an oddball. His main problem is women. He’s never had a girlfriend, never been in love. Coming to Waterloo Road he faces the biggest and hardest challenge of his career – teaching highly sexualised teenage girls, and he’s terrified.
Series 7A, saw Chalky struggle with class discipline to the point where he almost hit for a pupil, but with guidance from Rob Scotcher and unlikely ally Janeece, Chalky has managed to instil some kind of order, respect and discipline to his classes. This series sees Chalky push himself to the brink when he develops romantic hopes for the wrong women.
After Chalky comes to terms that his lover isn't the person he intentionally thought, he finds himself in a situation of helping out Tariq Siddiqui as 'Gang culture' takes over Waterloo Road.
Grantly Budgen - Played by Philip Martin Brown
Occupation: English Teacher
Duration: Series 1 Episode 1 - Present
A relic of the English department and nearing retirement age, Grantly has had many years to perfect his cynical disenchantment with the teaching profession. He’s slightly scruffy, tired and lacks conviction about anything, especially since he failed to write the novel he’s always believed he had in him. He’s sarcastic but is often witty with it and his asides in the staff room often prompt a giggle from his colleagues, many of whom have a soft spot for him, particularly Steph (who has since left the series).
The only love in life is his wife, Fleur, who he adores. He has old-fashioned values and believes marriage should be forever – and after a little blip in the marriage in Series four, Grantly and Fleur realised they couldn’t be without each other. Grantly was heartbroken when Fleur was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in series six and tried to care for her whilst hiding his living situation from his colleagues. When Steph returned to Waterloo Road she finally persuaded Grantly that the kindest thing he could do for Fleur was to put her in a care home.
Partial to a drink and a flutter on the horses, Grantly wants an easy life and thinks school is a much nicer place when the kids aren’t there. However Grantly doesn't receive this after his wife Fleur dies peacefully in his arms. Following up through Grantly's struggle in coming to terms of life without Fleur his friendship with Year 10 pupil Harley begins to show as he also falls into a romance with dinner lady Maggie Croft.
Janeece Bryant - Played by Chelsee Healey
Occupation: School Secretary
Duration: Series 1 Episode 2 - Series 4 Episode 20 THEN Series 6 Episode 1 - Present.
Former Waterloo Road pupil Janeece is Michael’s secretary. She returned to Waterloo Road five months pregnant (after a one night stand), and she took the job primarily for the maternity pay.
Janeece didn’t feel ready to be a mother and agreed to hand over her baby to Waterloo Road’s food technology teacher, Ruby Fry (who has since left the series) who was unable to conceive her own child. However, when little Cheryl (named after Cheryl Cole) was born Janeece realised she could never give up her daughter. Janeece has a hell of a gob on her but underneath all the bravado she nurses a heart of gold. Series 7A saw Janeece growing close to Chalky when she acted as his protector from the boisterous pupils of WR and trained him up in survival techniques.
Janeece finds herself falling in love with Craig and things move fast between them. In a no matter of time, Craig moved in and they had already planned a wedding. However when the wedding day approached, Janeece found herself without a groom as he emptied her house and left her with nothing. Struggling to cope without any money, Janeece goes to drastic measures of stealing from the school's canteen to fend for herself and her daughter.
Michael Byrne - Played by Alec Newman
Occupation: Head Teacher
Duration: Series 7 Episode 11 - Present
Michael Byrne is an award-winning, dynamic, media-friendly ‘Super Head’ teacher (former science teacher) who has earned himself a fearless and high profile reputation in the media after famously surviving a vicious attack by a student. Rather than turning his back on teaching, he’s dedicated his life to successfully improving failing schools through a promise to never let the past stand in his way.
Like many of Waterloo Road’s pupils, Michael grew up on a rough council estate, raised by a single mum struggling to provide the right levels of emotional and material support. He quickly fell into a life of truancy and gang-fighting. Facing a future of unemployment and crime, it wasn’t until he was challenged to aim higher by one particularly inspiring and persistent teacher that he finally decided to turn his life around. It’s exactly this kind of inspiration that Michael has spent the rest of his life trying to provide at the schools he’s worked at and gives him the belief that every pupil has the potential to achieve regardless of their background. Michael went directly into teacher training from university and with a head for heights, gained his first role as Head Teacher by the time he was thirty-two.
But his success doesn’t come without hard work, with Michael often working a 16 hour day. Like most workaholics, he needs to let off steam and as hard as Michael works, he plays; often drinking late into the night. Despite being a self-confessed commitment-phobe, this doesn’t stop women being drawn by Michael’s powerful charisma; as far as Michael’s concerned, let them get too close and they’ll try to change him and right now he’s more than happy with where he’s at, opting for the single life but how long will that last?
Now, Michael finds himself fighting against the 'Gang culture' that is tearing the school apart as well as attempting to fight off the LEA in order to save Waterloo Road from future closer. An offer is giving to him by Lorraine Donegan on a role of a headteacher at an independent school in Scotland. Will he take it?
Sian Diamond - Played by Jaye Jacobs
Occupation: Deputy Head/Science Teacher
Occupation: Series 7 Episode 11 - Present
Family: Jez Diamond, Madi Diamond, Zack Diamond
Sian is a hit in her role as Science teacher and Deputy Head at Waterloo Road. Behind the science goggles is an intelligent, sparky and sexy woman, capable of making science appealing to the masses. She worked with Michael at his previous school where the two were once romantically linked.
She’s married to meat-head Jez. Although loved-up, she’s the more sophisticated one in the marriage and is less comfortable with Jez’s determination to share the love with his overt displays of affection. Add to this, Sian’s embarrassment when their shady past becomes public and it is revealed that she was responsible for splitting up Jez’s family. Afraid of confrontation and of facing the truth, guilt drives Sian to connect with her new step children.
As her post-marriage excitement wanes, Sian will find herself connecting with Michael on a more intellectual level and it soon becomes apparent that there is still a strong mutual attraction between them.
After her affair getting out and her fight with Jez to continue with their marriage, after it failing their marriage comes to an end as Sian is left caring for Jez's kids - Madi and Zack as he moves away from Rochdale.
Tom Clarkson - Played by Jason Done
Occupation: Deputy Head/English Teacher
Duration: Series 1 Episode 1 - Present
Family: Josh Stevenson, Chlo Grainger, Mika Grainger
Tom’s in his late 30s and is one of Waterloo Road’s most popular teachers. The boys like him because he doesn’t push them, the girls fancy him because he’s a good-looking male teacher – but he doesn’t take his fan club seriously. He tells himself this is education the modern way but it’s really ‘cos he doesn’t like taking a load of jotters home to mark.
Tom’s from a solid working class family with a strong belief in the importance and value of education. He developed a love of English Literature, but university was always going to be the gateway to a free and easy life for gregarious, good-looking Tom. Teaching seemed like the best bet to avoid serious hard work and be paid for talking about a subject he enjoyed. Tom is basically a sweet-natured bloke, eager to please and avoid conflict – but this has also become his flaw: a willingness to compromise and postpone difficult decisions.
Tom has never had a predatory attitude towards women, although WR has provided him with plenty of opportunities for love. Whilst he was dating Rose he also grew closer to her children Sambuca and Denzil – and try as he might, Tom just can’t switch that paternal instinct off. In series five Tom discovered that he had a teenage son he didn’t realise even existed. Despite a difficult start Tom and his son Josh have grown close. Josh lives with his father who quickly accepted his son’s homosexuality after Josh came out in series six.
A new term sees Tom step up as one of the joint Deputy Heads but quickly finds himself up against the old guard as he implements Michael’s new policies. However Tom begins to find this job challenging after his son is diagnosed with Schizophrenia.