|Portrayed by||Eva Pope|
|First Appearance||Series 3 Episode 7|
|Last Appearance||Series 5 Episode 20|
|Cause/Reason||Resigned after marrying Adam Fleet|
|Born||2 July 1970|
|Romances||Eddie Lawson |
|Nieces and Nephews||Melissa and Eddie's unborn child|
|Series 3 Episode 7 - Series 5 Episode 20|
|Executive Head||Max Tyler (S5E1-S5E10)|
|Deputy||Eddie Lawson (S3E7-S4E20) |
Chris Mead (S5E1-S5E20)
|Preceded by||Jack Rimmer|
|Succeeded by||Karen Fisher|
Rachel Fleet (née Mason, born Amanda Fenshaw) was Waterloo Road’s third on-screen headteacher after Brian Vaisey and Jack Rimmer, and the first female head. She first appeared in the 7th episode of Series 3 and left at the end Series 5.
Rachel was the longest serving Headteacher, appearing in 52 episodes.
Eva Pope was missed by many of the cast.
- 1 Personality
- 2 Series 3
- 3 Series 4
- 4 Series 5
- 5 Quotes
Rachel was one of the most caring and compassionate teachers at Waterloo Road and a very popular headteacher. She believed in helping the children at school with any problem they may be facing. She refused to exclude any child as Rachel believes any child can be helped. Although warm and caring, Rachel was no pushover and didn't shy away from disciplining children who step out of line. She prefered to use her powers of persuasion to win people round. Rachel was a motherly figure to the children and cares for each one of them regardless of their background or academic abilities.
Rachel became headteacher of Waterloo Road following the resignation of Jack Rimmer. Initially appointed by the LEA as an Associate Headteacher, Rachel soon decided to remain at the school permanently, in the role as Headteacher. One of her first acts in office was to defuse an ongoing situation between two recently split couples: Donte and Chlo Charles, and Brett Aspinall and Mika Grainger. (Chlo had slept with Brett, the boyfriend of her sister Mika, and had since run away) Mika managed to steal a bottle of vodka and ended up vomiting on Rachel.
She has a dark past, that is partially revealed at the end of Series 3 Episode 10 (through a newspaper clipping about a vice crackdown), that she is desperate to keep a secret from the students and staff. It's a period of her life she's so ashamed of, she'd rather change her identity than carry on living with the same name. It formed part of the cliffhanger ending when Series Three entered its Christmas break.
Property developer Stuart Hordley and his secretary Tess Doyle, show up and Stuart starts to reveal her dark past with a document showing that she changed her name from Amanda Fenshaw to Rachel Mason and used to live in Hertfordshire and blackmailed her into getting his bid for the new training school re-instated, which she did.
Stuart took Rachel out for dinner during the lunch break in the LEA meeting to pile on the pressure regarding his bid for the training centre. Stuart's company won the bid, after Rachel quoted a phrase ("a bit too uppity") that Councillor Philby uses while he is on the phone to somebody from a rival company, Ladmore Construction. Philby has no choice but to back Hordley as Rachel has threatened to resign if Hordley is not chosen.
Stuart took Rachel out for dinner at the end of the day to explain why he blackmailed her, revealing that Tess Doyle has all the evidence that Stuart had been using. Stuart apologises for blackmailing Rachel and says that he will give her all the evidence that Tess has about her past as Amanda Fenshaw and the ones of her as Rachel Mason.
Stuart gives Rachel the evidence that Tess had, but before she can hide it Eddie walks in, he spots where she has put the envelope. Later Eddie phones a taxi firm and while he is waiting his curiosity gets the better of him. He looks in the top drawer of Rachel's desk. Spotting the envelope he looks inside and finds that Rachel (as Amanda Fenshaw) used to work as a prostitute. He is shocked and unhappy as he trusted Rachel very much and was pleased with the way she was turning around the school.
Eddie confronted Rachel about her past. She told him that she got involved in prostitution when she was 17 and that things, at the time, were bad at home. She also said that it took two years for her to get out of the habit "The only route out was to get myself an education and that is why I'm here." She was offered £1000 a week when she was a prostitute. Rachel also revealed that Stuart Hordley's secretary, Tess Doyle, knew her before she went into teaching. Eddie thinks that Rachel was in on the plan to get Hordley the training centre, he is also concerned that Rachel has slept with Hordley. Rachel denies this and after pressure from Eddie (who has cottoned onto the fact that Rachel may have been blackmailed) confesses that Stuart was blackmailing her. Eddie wants to go to the police, but Rachel says no as the truth will come out and if it does she will resign. Eddie talks about how it seems to him that her career is more important than the students and he says the truth will come out anyway. Rachel says that they have nothing on Hordley and that it would be her word against his. Rachel then tells Eddie, "I had sex with men for money 20 years ago because I had nothing else," then adding, "You can't see past that." Eddie walks off. Later Eddie hands Rachel his resignation. At the end of the episode a nervous Rachel is sat behind her desk.
Rachel had to deal with Mika Grainger and Brett Aspinall and their eco-friends. She also had to convince deputy head Eddie Lawson to stay at Waterloo Road, which he does. She is also under pressure from Stuart Hordley as the building work has been delayed and can be seen trying to keep calm whilst informing him what is happening with the building work. Near the end of the episode Rachel and Eddie are having a drink, Eddie will only agree to stay if Rachel phones the council, which she pretends to do after Eddie shows her a bounced cheque from Stuart Hordley. Once Rachel has 'phoned' the council (she really phoned a takeaway place) Eddie says they will face Hordley together, believing that Rachel has spoken to the council.
Rachel fought the deportation of pupil Sameen. Eddie said that he would stay at Waterloo Road and help Rachel get rid of Stuart Hordley once and for all or else he would always be influencing and following her. Rachel is threatened by Stuart after Eddie goes to see him and warns him to stay away from Rachel. Meanwhile Rachel decides to talk to Sameen herself. After a heartfelt talk from Rachel, Sameen decides to go and be with her family and go back to Iran. Eddie persuaded Rachel to lure Hordley to the school, after they found evidence of him being involved in illegal child labour. She did this and recorded the blackmail conversation on her mobile phone. Eddie then walked in and they confronted him with everything they had. Hordley then taunted Rachel about her past and taunted Eddie about his relationship with her. Eddie lost it and punched him. At the end of the episode Rachel and Eddie watched Stuart drive away. Eddie said he thought they have seen the last of him, but Rachel was not convinced.
Rachel met Steph's French businessman who refused to put money into the Language Labs. After Steph turned on the charm and Claude complained to Rachel, Rachel removed Steph from her position as Finance Director. Rachel and Eddie later encountered Steph at the pub, where Rachel told Steph that she was being removed from her post.
Eddie prevents her from finding the newspaper clippings and then asks her out, to which she says yes. Stuart turned up at a Spelling Bee competition and revealed Rachel's secret past to all of Waterloo Road, the visiting school and the staff. Afterwards Eddie goes to find Rachel and we see how much he cares for her when he asks her to stay. However ,she says she can't, as it could damage the school. Rachel then bumps into Stuart and a fight ensures and Rachel kicks Stuart in the crotch and he falls down the stairs. She goes to check on him but her day goes from bad to worse. Stuart realises there is nothing left for him and chucks his cigarette in the bin. As Candice is walking through the hallway near the school canteen, she trips over a gas pipe near the bin and an explosion rips through part of the school. She is seen to help an asthmatic (from visiting school Forest Mount) out of the school, and then Eddie comes to find her to make sure she is OK. She goes back into the school building (after sending a reluctant Eddie to the Assembly Point) to check if anyone is still trapped inside after the fire, only to find Stuart Hordley (her blackmailer) on the floor. During an attempt to save him, part of the ceiling collapses on them, leaving them both trapped. The series ends on a cliffhanger as to whether Rachel has survived or not.
Rachel returned to Waterloo Road and faced a lot more to deal with because of the arrival of the Kelly 'Family From Hell'. On the first day she helps to settle the Kelly’s in, holds interviews for next school roles and ensures the new initiatives are working, with the help of Eddie. After the school is evacuated following claims of a gun, Rachel goes back into the school (much to Eddie's dismay) and manages to defuse the situation. That evening, Eddie confesses his feelings for her but she rejects him due to the scar she received during the fire. Also arriving was her nephew, Philip Ryan and her sister, Melissa Ryan who is quick to start a relationship with Eddie. It becomes increasingly obvious that she is upset about their relationship - particularly when they get engaged.
It was revealed to Eddie and the rest of the staff that Rachel and Melissa are sisters after Philip was bullied by fellow students Paul and Bolton and begged Matt not to tell Rachel Mason as she is his aunt. Initially Eddie was angry after making the discovery however later came to terms with it and tried to persuade Rachel to join him and the rest of the staff for a drink however Rachel refuses. A few scenes later Rachel is seen pulling her top down slightly and glancing in the mirror at her scar later she drives to the pub where the staff are having drinks and sees Eddie and Melissa together.
Rachel has to deal with a new supply teacher when he makes allegations of racism against Davina. When it becomes apparent that Maaka is teaching the kids nothing and letting them walk around freely during lessons, Rachel intervenes and allows Davina to take over the class. Rachel also had to deal with Earl Kelly when he and Maxine Barlow were caught in the toilets during school hours.
Rachel is shown offering support to Rose Kelly by offering her a job in the school canteen. Rachel brought Rose into school for a catch up after she became concerned when Marley had pulled out of the running for head boy. After a somewhat fiery first confrontation, Rose cools off and goes back to see Rachel who then offers her a job. Rachel is later seen asking Marley about how his speech went before going off to help her sister with the dating event she organised.
Rachel helps with the drug awareness day that was organised however, to her anger, she finds Ralph Mellor there to help out. Things take a turn for the worse when Ralph realises that Flick tested positive and swaps her test for Marleys. Ralph then confronts Rachel about this and recommends that Marley be expelled. Rachel refuses to do this however does go off and find Marley to have a serious chat to him, Marley was angry and walked out of school with no plans to return. When Rachel then goes to talk to Rose about the events she too is angry and plans on walking however Rachel persuades her to stay. Later on ,when it is revealed by Flick that Marley is innocent Rachel goes round to the Kellys’ house to apologise to them.
Rachel is seen stopping a fight between Bolton and another boxer that took place outside of school - Rachel is furious with all the children who attended the fight.
After Eddie proposes to Melissa and she agrees Rachel decides to hold drinks in the staff room after school. When she leaves to go home she spots her nephew Philip sitting on a wall in the car park she notices that he seems upset and goes over to talk to him, after talking to Rachel for a while Philip feels he can confide in her, and informs Rachel that Melissa is still married to his dad it is evident that Rachel is very surprised.
There was more trauma for Rachel and the rest of the school when Earl Kelly shot dead fellow pupil and former girlfriend Maxine Barlow in Episode 8. Rachel came to the scene of the murder (Steph Haydock's house) and saw Maxine's body being carried away in a body bag whilst Miss Haydock was distraught, devastated and grieving other Maxine's death. Earl Kelly after what he had done soon realised the consequences he will have to take, he ran off and left Janeece Bryant (Maxine's best friend) to pick up the pieces. Earl didn't get far as he was swiftly cornered by the police and gave himself up as a murderer.
Rachel feels that she had no option but to resign from the school as she feels Maxine would still be alive if she had taken the opportunity to expel Earl. Despite numerous attempts from Eddie to dissuade her, she is adamant about leaving. She also learns from Paul Langley that it was Earl's whose gun was found in the school, and that Earl's 11-year-old brother Denzil had taken possession of it under intimidation from Earl in a bid to get away with possessing the gun. Further talks with Eddie showed her commitment to the Kellys and the school as a whole, as she began to help Bolton and Paul confess. After a heart-to-heart with Bolton, Rachel decided to stay.
Rachel discovered from Philip that Melissa was still married to two men and that she had, in fact, lied about her divorce. As Melissa and Eddie were about to leave she confronted them both, forcing Melissa to tell the truth to both herself and Eddie. An enraged Melissa then revealed that Eddie was in love with Rachel and that she knew Rachel secretly harboured feelings for him. Melissa tried to force Eddie to choose between them but Rachel promptly stormed out of the school, shocked. Just as she was leaving she was stopped by a voice - Eddie.
It showed a new term at the school, with relations between Rachel and Eddie strained, as it transpires that Melissa and Eddie have split up and Eddie is staying at Waterloo Road. It also becomes apparent that Philip is now staying with Rachel. She is very excited by the return of Kim Campbell, and the two get along immediately due to their similar drive and passion. At the end of the episode Rachel and Eddie are seen discussing Philip, where Eddie reveals that he never loved Melissa - he just didn't want to be alone.
Rachel and Eddie trying to settle Philip's behaviour as they both feel responsible for him after Melissa's departure. Rachel has not yet denied or confirmed Melissa's accusation that she had feelings for Eddie. Eddie decides the three of them should have dinner together to show Philip their support, Rachel agrees but suggests bowling as Philip likes bowling. At the bowling alley, Philip cancels but Rachel and Eddie decide to stay. Rachel teases Eddie about his lack of skills in bowling. After some brief but major flirtation, the pair share their first kiss.
Eddie and Rachel go out on another date. Also, Rachel agrees to let Philip have a birthday party round at her house feeling that he needs something to cheer him up. Rachel is seen preparing food for the party in the kitchen before being joined by Eddie and Philip. Rachel seems worried and tells Philip to call her if anything goes wrong, not to drink any alcohol etc, Rachel and Eddie then leave the house to go on their date - Rachel continues to worry when she sees all the people coming to the party and instructs Bolton to try and keep things in order. At the end of the party, Eddie and Rachel return and are surprised to see the house is clean Rachel goes upstairs to check on Philip and is later joined by Eddie and it's implied the two of them have sex.
Rachel has to deal with a school trip gone wrong when all of her students ending up inside Jem Allen's house (supply teacher). She is initially very angry with her nephew Philip Ryan as he was supposed to be in detention however she cools off and is pleased to hear that he helped out Grantly when he fell in the pool, however, she later feels very embarrassed when Flick Mellor comes over asking why Philip left a bra and pair of knickers in her bag when Flick leaves she is disgusted when she realises the underwear is hers. She is later seen visiting Grantly in intensive care.
Rachel locks horns with Steph when she becomes annoyed with her constantly pestering Tasha, Steph is annoyed and informs Rachel that Philip is still pursuing Flick Mellor before storming out of Rachel's office. Rachel then goes to find Philip and questions him about Flick however he denies that he is still pestering her and reveals that it was Flick who wanted to sleep with him on the night of his party. Rachel is later seen apologising to Steph when it comes to light that Tasha has been deliberately not eating to make herself thin.
Rachel supports Kim when she returns to work however when Kim attacks Andrew she realises allowing her to come back so soon might not have been the best thing. Rachel is confused when the school is struck down by a mystery illness. Later on when Philip says he too isn’t feeling very well Rachel goes over to chat to him after a while Philip confides in Rachel that he put laxative in the brownies that she helped him to make for the school fundraising day. Rachel is furious and is seen out in the corridor with Philip asking him why he did it. Rachel confides in Eddie about Philip's actions and is seen comforting her when she is upset because she blames herself for Philip's behaviour.
She returns from a school choir competition and risks her own life to save Waterloo Road to prevent mad Ralph Mellor destroying the school. Rachel then tells Eddie that she cannot be a head teacher, Melissa's sister, Philip's aunt, the baby's step-mum and auntie, and his girlfriend. Even though she loves Eddie and envied her sister's engagement to him, she terminates the relationship breaking both their hearts. Eddie said that he couldn't work with her because of this and Rachel agreed. Eddie left Waterloo Road but may be in contact as an unseen character.
Rachel starts the new term on a high, with the arrival of new Deputy Headteacher Christopher Mead. However, all is thrown into chaos when new Executive Head Teacher Max Tyler arrives with a very different approach to her own. Branding Rachel incapable of running the school alone, he informs her that he intends to base himself permanently at Waterloo Road, and proceeds to march her out of her own office, leaving Rachel fuming. The ensuing episodes depict Rachel and Max in an elaborate power struggle, disagreeing with almost all the methods and means that Max wants to achieve his goals by. Max prefers an old-fashioned, autocratic and disciplinary approach whereas Rachel believes that pastoral approach is far more suited to the needs of Waterloo Road's pupils. Rachel confides in Kim however soon spots her kissing Max, leaving her horrified and not confident to talk to.
Rachel continues to support Lindsey and Emily James and offers to take them to their Dad's funeral. While Emily is standing by her Dad's grave Lindsay goes over to stand with Rachel next to her car, Rachel tries to talk to Lindsey and asks her if her Dad abused her to. When they return to school Rachel is shocked to find Denzil Kelly scrubbing the school steps, Rachel asks him what he's doing and he tells her Max made him do it, Rachel is angry and tensions between her and Max increase.
In episode 6, after much persuasion, a troubled pupil Lindsey James confides in Rachel about how her father (who had been murdered) had been sexually abusing her. Rachel was shocked to hear this, and carried on supporting Lindsey and her younger sister Emily.
Lindsey confesses to Rachel that it was she who murdered her father, and Rachel persuades her to tell the court. This ends in Lindsey being arrested, however in the following episode, she got let out on bail, and we see Rachel comforting Lindsey's mother Marion, offering her support.
Rachel and Max have a showdown in front of the governors, blaming each other for the failure of the merger. Tired of the turf war with him, she handed in her resignation. However when she learns that Max abused Philip, his ex-wife Jennifer Headley of the LEA who persuaded Rachel to stay had him suspended indefinitely from Waterloo Road. From that point, Rachel decides to stay. In the pub later that evening with all staff members present apart from Kim Campbell, Max shows up and begins an argument with Chris, referring to Rachel's past life working as a prostitute. When he asks her how much she charges a member of staff, Chris punches him in the face. After Max leaves, the pair begin to flirt with each other and Chris admits that he fancies her. It is clear that Rachel is shocked and she goes on to tell Chris that she doesn't think having sex will be a good idea. However, Rachel obviously dumps her scruples because she and Chris are then spotted leaving the pub in the back of a taxi. Once he has told the driver the destination, he shares a very passionate kiss with her.
In the next episode, she is found hinting that her night with Chris was just a one-off. He seems disappointed but continues to work well with her. She then finds out that one of her pupils has been abducted by their father and follows them to a caravan, putting her in a life-threatening situation when the father of the pupil begins to fill the caravan with gas and traps them inside it. Luckily, she manages to get her and the pupil, Bianka Vale, to safety, yet is left shocked when the caravan explodes with the father inside it. Later on, Chris and Kim find out what happened and are relieved to find out that the pair of them are safe. When she returns to the school, it is obvious that she is in shock and bursts into tears in her office. At the end of the day, Chris and Kim come to find her and it becomes obvious that Chris was really worried about her as he tells her how important she is to the school and how she should never take risks like that again.
Rachel returns to the classroom. After the Bianka Vale incident, Rachel insisted they put the kid's emotional health at the top of the agenda and she follows this up by getting Kim to train year 12's so they can assist year 8's and listen to their problems. Meanwhile, Ruby Fry takes the year 10's on a trip to a farm, owned by a pupil's big brother. The trip is disastrous. While the class is away Rachel takes Ruby Fry's class. Grantly has made a bet with Rachel that she can't make it through the day, doing both teaching and being the head. He tries to cause all sorts of problems for her, including trying to spook her before she takes Ruby's class about how things have changed since she has been in the classroom, saying it's more about crowd control now. Rachel gets through the teaching fine. However, she has to stop teaching to sort out the trip. In the short period of time the trip was, some of the pupils managed to cause all sorts of trouble. Josh Stevenson get sanitiser sprayed in his face, Lauren and Sambuca let the pigs out and smuggle one back to school plus Amy, Siobhan, Finn, Josh and Craig were drinking alcohol. Also, the mentoring scheme has gone badly. Paul Langley and Bolton Smilie got a complaints box and Denzil Kelly to collect complaints mainly about the teachers. At the end of the day, Rachel wins the bet and collects her money.
Rachel gets a welcome blast from the past in the form of old friend Adam Fleet, who assumes Rachel is still known as Amanda Fenshaw. After a brief catch up, Rachel offers Adam the job as Head Chef which he accepts, pleasing them both.
In the next episode Rachel and Adam are seen to be close friends, but when Rachel finds out that Adam has been going to gigs with 6th formers she isn't happy. Later when she confronts him about it Adam thinks he has done nothing wrong, but it's only when Danielle Harker and Aleesha Dillon moan to him about how boring Rachel is, that he realises he has overstepped the mark. But he does agree with them about one thing, the fact that Rachel doesn't have fun anymore - Something he intends to change. After school that day, Adam decides to plan a surprise for Rachel, turning the 6th form common room into a cinema for a romantic date, ending with Rachel and Adam sharing a kiss.
It’s crunch time for Rachel and Adam when they clash over his plan to provide healthy takeaway food for the pupils. Rachel is initially reluctant, but Adam's enthusiasm convinces her. When Adam recruits Ruby to help him with the scheme, however, problems soon ignite because when left unsupervised, Ruby lets a fire start in the kitchen and Adam is forced to cover for her to save her job. This prompts Rachel to attack Adam believing that he has behaved irresponsibly, and they have a furious bust-up. Later, a calmer Rachel apologises and opens up to Adam, admitting she's scared to love again. In this rare moment of honesty, Adam reveals he wants to spend the rest of this life with her- and proposes, to which she accepts, and they kiss.
Rachel and Adam announce their engagement to the staff and go public with their relationship. This day they seem very close and in love. At the end of the show, Rachel and Adam are seen dining in a restaurant to celebrate their engagement. It now seems they are more in love than ever.
Rachel Mason departed Waterloo Road after the double-episode series finale (episodes 19 and 20) after getting married to Adam Fleet and agreeing to travel the world with him. During episode 20, Rachel was the first person to be concerned about Finn Sharkey and Amy Porter's strange behaviour after the couple had drawn peculiar pictures on their test papers in Grantly Budgen's lesson, their belongings including their mobile phones, school ties, school books and pens found in a bin by Karla Bentham and they had disappeared from the school site. It was later revealed that the couple had made a suicide pact to die together at Finn's favourite beach due to the fact Finn's parents had revealed to him that they were moving to Los Angeles and it would ruin their relationship. The suicide was later prevented by Christopher Mead who found them in time. Whilst at the dance Rachel shows her commitment to new husband Adam Fleet and says that she will quit her role as headteacher as she doesn't want it to come between them. It shows them share a tender kiss interrupted by an pop song and then the term is out ready for new adventures. She lines up Karen Fisher to replace her.
- Rachel: "Oh good morning!" Eddie: "Can I have a word?" Rachel: "You can go mad and have several, if you like. Come on!"
- "Please don't tell me those are mine..."
- Eddie: When are you going to get it into your head that you can't save everybody? Rachel: I can try.
- "In the chocolate bloody brownies!"
- "What's wrong with this picture?"
- "Lindsey, can I just have a quick word please?"
- "Teaching is like riding a bike, once you know how, you never forget."
- "I'm warning you Ruby, go home."
- "I'll give my all to this school, no matter how long I stay."
- ”I know but I need you to be on the ball Ruby.”
- "Please don't tell me those are mine." referring to the used underwear Philip gifted to Flick.
- Kim: "Why's he so full of the joys?." Rachel: "He got Kerplunk in the car."