Helen and Mark Pearson move to the Home counties and their 9-year old daughter Chloe starts a new school. Helen is keen to distance herself from parental gatherings at the school gates which will lead to out of hours group involvement but the inexperienced Mark manages to get roped into giving a talk to the pupils and Ofsted and is followed home by parents expecting a drinks do. Unlike Helen other mothers Mia and Sarah are anxious to drum up schemes involving parents and Sarah's husband Aidan hopes to keep in with progressive headmaster Mr Gould by giving him the ...
Mr Gould's Walk to School week falls on deaf ears but the playground is buzzing with new gossip. When Helen discovers that Chloe has has a run-in with Sarah's son Zac she insists the boy apologize but Sarah claims it is all Helen's fault in being late to collect Chloe. Their altercation is picked up by Miss Hunter and is soon the talk of the playground,leasing to an undignified climax at Mia's salsa exercise class.
Mark is saddened when Chloe - his little girl - admits to having a boyfriend though Helen is encouraging - until she discovers that he is Mia's son Sam,who collects road-kill. Both Pearsons unite to sabotage the relationship. Meanwhile Mr Gould installs CCTV after a graffiti artist goes to work in the playground. Miss Hunter is outraged at this intrusion of privacy and leads the staff in revolt,even encouraging the kids to join in.
After seeing a Big Issue seller Chloe suggests a sponsored sleep-out for parents. Neither of hers are keen but Mark 'volunteers',to chaperone his daughter. However he ensures that,with Sarah also on the sleep-out,Helen gets to keep the boring Aiden company. Aiden's suggestive comments and Sarah's invitation to Mark to share sleeping bags lead the Pearsons to believe that comments about the couple being swingers may,after all,be true. Mr Gould aims to get in on the charity act with his 'I Have a Dream' speech but it fails to go to plan.
On parents' evening Helen is dreading Miss Hunter's caustic comments on Chloe's lack of progress but is even more shocked to learn that her daughter is a model pupil,far more conventional than her parents. However,when Mr Gould tries to enforce Miss Hunter's retirement and she rallies the pupils to support her,guess who is the rebel leader? Mark,on the other hand,feels uncomfortable after Sarah pays an unannounced visit and inveigles herself into staying the night.