Nas has agreed to a sham engagement to Naveed - who is also in the closet. However, reeling from the discovery of a family secret, she struggles to continue the lie and emotions run high at the family engagement dinner. Mandy is under pressure from Sadiq as both the Year 7 intake and exam results have plummeted, forcing her to instigate a strict academic regimen that causes uproar among staff and students alike.
It is the day of baby Jamie's christening, and ashamed of Cory's lack of interest, Jordan promises to pay for half. However, when the Murgatroyds splash out, Jordan can't deliver his side of the cash. Meanwhile, Mandy gets jealous over Steve when his ex Claire turns up at the school, but is it too late for their relationship?
Still reeling from the revelation of Iqbal's secret family, Kaneez confronts the other woman and decides she wants to take her life back. When Rashid asks her out on a date, Kaneez realises she needs to put her happiness first for once. Meanwhile, Sadiq and Mandy want more diversity in the school play, and Emma and Sami's affair is galvanised when he helps her convince the Asian pupils to audition for the new production.
Sami is riddled with guilt over his affair, so when he discovers Jordan is working for Khadim, he seeks redemption by getting him off the streets and into boxing. However, when Khadim refuses to let Jordan go, Sami is forced to confront his vengeful childhood friend. Meanwhile, Nas is encouraged by Missy to go on a date with a girl, but when she comes on too strong, Nas freaks out and calls for backup from Missy and Aaron. Elsewhere, Alya is furious when she learns that Will is covering her A-level biology classes.
Desperate to find a girlfriend, Nas downloads a dating app and, after fending off a series of unsuitable women, falls for a beautiful young girl called Sameera - only for Missy to discover it is Kaneez catfishing Nas as a way of reconnecting with her daughter. Meanwhile, Mandy persuades Steve to interview for the Deputy Head role and Emma and the students are still reeling from tragic events.
Missy has never had a real relationship, so when Aaron tells her he loves her, she reacts badly. Her worst views of men are confirmed when a message stream circulates around school revealing Riz and Hayley's sexual relationship. Meanwhile, Mandy is embarrassed by having to call Sadiq and his wife in to discuss Riz's behaviour.
Nas falls for the feisty Sam Murgatroyd, but discovers their families and backgrounds put them completely at odds. Meanwhile, Missy and Hayley are heartbroken when Simone relapses, and Mandy is forced to suspend Steve.
Mandy's abusive dad turns up at the school suffering from dementia. She returns to the estate where she grew up to find that her mum can't cope with the situation.
While Alya lives a life of privilege, Cory's family have fallen apart and he has to visit a food bank. Nas gets caught in the crossfire of a fight between Sam and Razia, leaving her to choose between her secret girlfriend and her sister.
Desperate to make it as a stand-up comic, Naveed's plans are derailed when his Mum discovers his arranged marriage to Nas was a cover, and that he's gay.
With the GCSE exams looming Missy loses her bottle and quits school in favour of starting a family with Aaron. Emma recruits Will in her plan to sabotage Chloe's relationship.
Jordan fears he hasn't done enough revision to get into the college that he wants to go to, and Mandy is offered a lifeline that forces her to question her loyalty to Sadiq.
Nas secures an interview for a place at Oxford University, while Mandy is overwhelmed when her new boss dumps a load of unmanageable kids from his other schools on her. New hot-headed Deputy Head Martin locks horns with Sam Murgatroyd's mum - fresh from prison - and bad girl Rukhsana runs rings around Sue, the disenchanted and distinctly un-PC new Director of Behaviour.
Kaneez and Simone anxiously wait for news on Nas and Missy. Sam recruits her cousins to seek revenge, and as the reaction rapidly escalates, a chasm opens between Ackley Bridge's white and Asian communities, with the school at the centre of the tensions. Mandy and her staff are reeling when behaviour spirals out of control. Martin is tasked with mentoring cocky new PE teacher Hassan, who's more interested in being liked by the pupils than being an authority figure. Mandy also tries to tempt Emma back to Ackley Bridge.
Kaneez is stunned when Rashid proposes, but when wedding fever takes hold of the Paracha house it gets too much for her and she back-tracks - leaving Rashid confused and humiliated. Still keen to unite the two communities of Ackley Bridge, Mandy has written an article for a right-wing local newspaper, and later teams up with Kaneez to go into the community and convince Asian parents to support her school. Naveed has a party while his parents are away, but he isn't pleased when Chloe uses it as an opportunity to pull Cory.
Sam and Nas are caught shoplifting, which causes a rift between them, but Sam's mum Nadine is proud of her and pushes Sam to get more involved with the Murgatroyds' criminal activities. Martin puts his family in danger when he tries to intervene and save Sam. Meanwhile, Nas considers her future in the wake of recent events, and Sue's nose is put out of joint when Mandy favours Kaneez for a job in her department - and the Parachas and Booths are intent on her getting it.
Cory is kicked out after being caught with his dad's girlfriend. Hoping for sympathy, he is amazed when Naveed is appalled. The friends fall out, leading Nas to take Naveed on a night out with a difference. He meets a guy who proves to be the perfect distraction from Cory. It's Mandy's maternity cover, Sian who scoops up Cory, but he oversteps the mark when he kisses her. Later, when Mandy gives birth, she feels overwhelmed and underprepared for motherhood, but luckily she has help from Kaneez.
Rukhsana gets revenge on her controlling brother, but it does her little good when he walks out on her, leaving her to face a visit from the debt collectors alone. The family crisis presents Kaneez with her first real challenge as student support officer, and she strives to reunite the siblings. Candice attacks Dan, which leads Sian to exclude her - but Mandy steps in to reveal that he had played a cruel sexual prank on her, and that Cory was also involved. Nas wants to patch things up with Sam.
It's the first day at the newly integrated school, and best friends and neighbours Missy and Nas are now attending the same school for the very first time. Nas's more conservative school friends take against Missy. Nas sides with her school friends and Missy, fuelled by anger, decides to play dangerous liaisons. Meanwhile English teacher Emma Keane gets a shock when she finds out that she'll be working with her ex-boyfriend Sami.
Jordan finds himself in charge of a baby that he has to sneak into school. It's harder to conceal than he anticipated, and he blackmails PE teacher Steve into helping him out. Unable to return it to its mother a stumped Steve ends up taking Jordan and baby back to his house which causes further issues to his already strained marriage to Mandy, leading her to fall into the ready arms of her boss, Sadiq.
Missy convinces Nas to make a play for her teacher Lila, but Nas is served a curveball when her dad announces that he has other plans for her. Confused and emotional, Nas appeals to Lila for help but Lila draws a line under their friendship. Elsewhere a guilt-stricken Mandy ends things with Sadiq and throws herself back into her marriage. Emma discovers that the object of her affection, Samir, is engaged. Cory's attempts to help Riz with the opposite sex understandably backfire.
Missy suffers a traumatic discovery regarding Nana Booth and fearing that social services will take Haley into care, she keeps everything secret until forced to ask Emma for money. Nas is heartbroken when her relationship with Lila hits rocky ground, and Kaneez realises she has to alert Mandy about the Booth girls when she gets caught in a fight between Simone and Missy.
In the penultimate episode of the schools drama series, Kaneez is initially furious to discover that Nas is considering the arranged marriage, but Nas brings her round. However, the pressure of planning the wedding and her web of lies leads Nas to break down to her mum and confess that she is gay. Meanwhile, while focusing on helping Missy get Hayley back and straighten out Simone, Emma neglects Chloe on her birthday, sending Chloe off the rails while Steve battles with Mandy's indiscretion - do they have a future?
Mandy's professional life collides with her personal life when Alya outs her and Sadiq's affair at the school's first Open Day. As Mandy fights for her job, but chooses to put her pupils before her career, Steve comes to her rescue, but will it be enough to repair their relationship? Meanwhile, Candice reveals the true identity of Jamie's father, leading Jordan to spiral. Feeling neglected by Emma, Chloe gets caught up in Jordan's plans to leave Ackley Bridge, only for them to fall foul of the police.