BBC Waterloo Road Wiki
Rose Kelly
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Portrayed by Elaine Symons
First Appearance (First stint) Series 4 Episode 1
Last Appearance (First stint) Series 5 Episode 17
First Appearance (Guest) Series 6 Episode 6
Last Appearance (Guest) Series 6 Episode 6
First Appearance (Second stint) Series 7 Episode 2
Last Appearance (Second stint) Series 7 Episode 7
Cause/Reason Left after Sambuca’s death
Occupation Canteen Assistant (S4E5 - S5E17)
Romances Reynold
Tom Clarkson (Deceased)
Sons Marley Kelly (1992)
Earl Kelly (1993)
Denzil Kelly (1997) (Deceased)
Prince Kelly (2007)
Daughters Sambuca Kelly (1995) (Deceased)
Grandsons Unnamed

Rose Kelly is the mother of Marley, Earl, Sambuca, Denzil & Prince Kelly. She is also the former partner of Tom Clarkson.


Rose didn’t know the countryside existed until she was in her early teens. She lived and breathed the mile radius around her council flat and like most of the other girls around her, she was pregnant by the age of 16.

Rose was introduced in series 4 as an anti-social alcoholic who bought a pack of troubled children with her, but with the encouragement and support of Rachel Mason and Tom Clarkson, she finally cleaned up her act; getting sober and landing a job in the school kitchens.

Rose loved her children dearly and wanted them to do well at Waterloo Road. Despite this, she was unable to parent them effectively. Her struggles with disciplining her children eventually lead to them being taken into care for a short period of time which left her devastated.

She had a brief relationship with Clarence Charles (the father of Donte Charles), but it ended after she caught Clarence cheating on her at her house party.

Series 4

Rose Kelly is introduced as a single mother of five, in a complete mess, poor and falling apart. Rose moved in next to Tom Clarkson, Davina Shackleton, Chlo Grainger and Donte Charles. After numerous complaints from Tom, Rose was evicted and had her kids taken from her.

The head at the time, Rachel Mason, noticed the fact that Rose was an alcoholic and had near enough to no money in her pocket, so she was offered a job in the school canteen. She had conflict with Candice Smilie, but after adult education classes, they became friends. They got into an argument over a business proposal, but when they win, this embarks the start of a friendship.

Earl Kelly, the second eldest of the Kelly's, fatally shot his girlfriend Maxine Barlow and was imprisoned for life.

Tom Clarkson was a big help to Rose and helped her get back on track. They began a relationship, and Tom became the fatherly figure in Rose’s kids’ lives.

Rose also had a brief relationship with Clarence Charles (the father of Donte Charles), but it ended after she caught Clarence cheating on her at her house party.

During the Rwanda event in Series 4 Episode 19, Candice and Rose used out of date meat, which was believed to have caused diarrhoea in the pupils, however it was revealed that Philip Ryan had put laxatives in the brownies.

Series 5

Rose and Tom continue to date in Series 5.

When Josh (a John Fosters pupil who came to Waterloo Road after the merger) is revealed to be Tom's long lost son with his college crush Georgia Stevenson, Rose tries to be supportive but evidently Tom wasn't spending much time with her or the kids anymore. Sambuca in particular felt left out when Tom paid more attention to Josh than he did her. This leads to Tom and Rose having a break from their relationship.

When the new Healthy Schools Co-ordinator Adam Fleet arrives at Waterloo Road in the second half of series 5, Rose feels insulted and tries to convince Rachel that they don't need him. Adam had lots of new ideas for the canteen that Rose doesn't agree with.

Series 6

Rose made a brief appearance in Series 6 Episode 6, when Amy Porter accused Rose's daughter Sambuca of being in possession of drugs.

Rose is clearly offended by the idea of this when she tries to change Karen's mind and let Sam stay at Waterloo Road. Chris and Karen aren't convinced, as it seemed fairly obvious to them that Sam was the one who brought the drugs in.

Sam then gets angry at Rose for suggesting that she'll take the issue to the Governors.

We see Rose again at the end of the episode, leaving the school with Sam. Lauren, who was also involved with the situation with Amy, comes to apologize to Sam after lying to Karen about who really was in possession of the drugs. Sam gets angry with Lauren and she tells her she is leaving Waterloo Road anyway because the only reason she was there because she had "a good mate".

Series 7

Sambuca was suffering from migraines, nausea, lack of concentration and poor eyesight. Later that day, Sambuca suffered a violent seizure on the grass. A desperate Tom Clarkson called for Rose. Rose took Sambuca for a scan. It was revealed Sambuca had a serious, inoperable brain tumour. Rose frantically searched for alcohol and was found drunk by a furious Tom Clarkson. Rose revealed to Tom that Sambuca had cancer. Both Rose and Tom supported Sambuca throughout her final weeks. In Series 7 Episode 6, Sambuca died in Rose and Tom’s arms. Denzil was grieving his sister’s death, and became angry after discovering that new girl Scout had picked up Sambuca's hoody after he dropped it in class, he attacked her but was stopped by Rose and Tom. This was Rose’s final appearance.

Series 8

Following her son Denzil‘s death and the school’s move to Scotland in Series 7 Episode 30 and Series 8 Episode 1, it is not known what became of Rose. She was not invited by Tom to Denzil’s memorial service.


  • Tom: I fell asleep.
  • Rose: So did she. She just went. (whilst sobbing)

  • Rose: Oh, there must be something else I could do! Peeling potatoes for a living - that's what immigrants are for!
  • Candice: Yeah, Irish immigrants! (Series 4 Episode 5)

  • Steph: They've been caught in the toilets together at school!
  • Rose: Oh, come on, don't tell me you've never had your arse up against a bog door!