Richard Whitman

Richard Whitman (portrayed by Nicholas Gleaves) is a former character from the BBC drama Waterloo Road, and serves as the main antagonist for the series 7 autumn term. He is the Director of Education at the Local Education Authority for Rochdale. He appears to have a elitist viewpoint and therefore had a personal vendetta against Karen Fisher and her inclusion policies.

Role in the series

Whitman visits the school and considers it to be 'lacking' something, and so he employs ambitious English teacher and former Conservative counsellor Eleanor Chaudry to 'spy' on the school for him and give him information on how its run so he can discredit Karen Fisher, the then head. She however gets cold feet when she discovers that some people's jobs may be on the line.

After getting support from the LEA, Waterloo Road then has an indepedent inspection, but due to an undermining of authority by Chris Mead when he goes in pursuit of a pupil he believes correctly to be in serious danger, Whitman jumps at the oppurtunity for Karen to get suspended. The pupils and staff (including Eleanor) however, launch a protest from the top of the school roof, exposing Whitman's unprofessional attack on the school.

Although Karen is seemingly suspended, the school is not closed down, and due to the presence of a new Director of Education at the LEA, it seems that Whitman was later sacked or forced to resign.


Whitman is at first a legitimate individual, but in truth is bullying, arrogant, disconnected and unprofessional. This is shown by employing someone to spy on the school, and showing no regret for his actions. He accuses Karen of unprofessionalism, but shows his disconnection from the real world, claiming that if he were in her position, he would 'improve exam results,' something that cannot be done as easily as he seems to be claiming. 


'That woman is nothing but trouble.' - concerning Karen Fisher.

Bit late to be developing a conscience, Eleanour.

'I'll blacken your name so much you won't even be able to get a job holding a lollipop.' - to Karen Fisher.