Rachel is young, attractive, sassy – and is considered by the Local Education Authority to be one of the best head teachers there is. She’s an innovator and has never been afraid to take risks to deliver quality education to the poorest sectors of society – and she has a passion for transforming the lives of working class kids. Committed to a no exclusions policy, Rachel believes that every child can be helped. Her own background as a high class prostitute turned teacher means that Rachel has daily proof that people can change.
Rachel has a wry, quick wit and makes decisions quickly and decisively – but prefers to use her powers of persuasion to win people round rather than barking orders. She likes solutions rather than problems but she will back her staff to the hilt if necessary. She can be offhand with inspectors, advisers and anyone else unwilling, as she sees it, to get their hands dirty. Rachel is very close to Kim Campbell
, respecting her on a personal and professional level.
Rachel usually likes to keep her private life private but (in season 4) her sister, Melissa Ryan
, joined the staff and her nephew, Philip
, became one of her pupils – bringing Rachel’s personal life firmly into the school. After a brief relationship with Melissa, Eddie Lawson
finally came to his senses and after much will, they won’t they, Rachel and Eddie finally got together.
But when Melissa returned to the school pregnant with Eddie’s child, Rachel felt she had to stand by her sister – something she couldn’t do if she was still with Eddie. An emotional goodbye means that Rachel returns (to Season 5), recovered from her break up with Eddie and eager to get into the new term and the new school.