After searching unsuccessfully for work as an engineer, Mark Thackeray accepts a teaching position at a rough, East End London high school. His colleagues warn him about the impossible brutes he will encounter there, but still he enters his classroom unprepared for their horrible defiance. A classic portrayal of teen angst, where these impoverished, battered kids, who have turned out badly, are determined to brutalize everyone around them. The teachers let them dance between classes to vent some of their aggressive energy, but they all treat the classroom as though it were an unsupervised sandbox. With transcendent dignity, Thackary tames them and teaches them self-respect.