Ian George, the head of an exclusive school, is asked to take a look at Hope Park Comprehensive School, which is in special measures, and asked to confirm its closure. When he visits the school, he's greeted by disaffected students and teachers alike. The sixth form centre was derelict after it was torched a few years previously, and the music room is full of expensive equipment, unused because the school could not attract a music teacher. The outgoing head (Peter Davison) breaks down during his farewell speech and delivers an emotional rant against the students, telling them how worthless they are.
After meeting staff and pupils at the school, in particular pupil Keeley Porter and teacher Debbie "Debs" Bryan, Ian George believes there is some hope for the school. He is offered help by the chair of governors, whose son died young and would have been at the school. Ian turns down a Governmental job to take over as the new Head.
With the help of Deputy Head "Debs" (Redman), George rectified these issues. He identified the talents of rebellious students, and the music equipment was finally used.
Romances developed between Ian and Debs, and Tony (Lee Warburton) and Sally (Sara Stephens).
Philip Whitchurch played Derek, the chair of governors, who was desperate to save the school. The refurbished and replenished library was subsequently dedicated to his dead son. The Chief Education Officer was played by Richard Griffiths.