Sex Education season 4: Release date speculation, cast, plot and news
Will we be getting more unconventional sex ed lessons from the streaming service?
Season 4 of Netflix hit Sex Education is on its way and we finally know a lot more about the plot and cast.
The cast of Sex Education season 4 was confirmed on Friday 19th August 2022 with some first-look images and a plot synopsis for the new episodes.
We have a brand new setting in the form of Cavendish Sixth Form College where the likes of Otis and Eric will have to get used to new surroundings, while Maeve deals with her education in the US under the tutelage of a cult author, played by Schitt's Creek star Dan Levy.
It has previously been reported by The Hollywood Reporter that multiple cast members won't be returning, as they reported that sources say 3 will feature "a mix of old and new faces" as Sex Education moves on from the "shuttered" Moordale High in favour of a new school.
Tanya Reynolds, Rakhee Thakrar, Simone Ashley and Patricia Allison are amongst the cast members not returning for the fourth season, which was officially announced during Netflix's TUDUM event.
Read on for everything we know so far about Sex Education season four, when it might come out and what's in store for our favourite Moordale students.
Sex Education season 4 release date speculation
Sex Education season 4 will likely be released in early 2023.
Netflix has renewed Sex Education for season four – which is handy as the cast and crew all seem keen on more comedic sexual escapades at Moordale High – or wherever they'll be studying next, considering the school is set to shut down after the events of the third series.
Creator Laurie Nunn had said previously that she was on board, telling The Hollywood Reporter. “I think these characters… they’ve got legs. I think I could do some more with them if we’re given the chance.”
The show's big-name star Gillian Anderson also seemed game to clear her schedule for another season, but pointed out that it's ultimately up to the executives at Netflix who, we are happy to say, saw sense.
“It has been discussed and I think, given how much people are enjoying it, I don’t see why it wouldn’t [continue], but things change," Anderson told Collider. "Things are changing at Netflix daily, as we speak. And so at the end of the day, it’s nobody’s call but those guys at the top.”
The series is expected to begin filming in Summer 2022 so it seems set to return to its original winter slot for the first two seasons and release early next year.
Ffilmingseason three was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and did not premiere until over 18 months later in September 2021.
COVID-19 restrictions permitting, Sex Education could hopefully return to a yearly release cycle – though the show's preference to shoot during the summer months may delay this somewhat.
Star Aimee Lou Wood revealed back in June 2021 that she had already discussed season four storylines with the writers.
“I’m actually talking about a storyline for season four at the moment that I’m giving some feedback on," Lou Wood told RadioTimes.com and other press at a BAFTA Q&A.
She added: "I’d love to be in the writer’s room for [season four] – saying that here. But then again… I’d also like to just go home and learn my lines!”
It seems season three's delay may have given the writers more time to work on season four – so there's a good chance filming could begin shortly.
Sex Education season 4 cast
The following cast members have been confirmed for Sex Education season 4.
- Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn
- Gillian Anderson as Dr Jean Milburn
- Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong
- Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley
- Connor Swindells as Adam Groff
- Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson Marchetti
- Alistair Petrie as Michael Groff
- Mimi Keene as Ruby Matthews
- Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee Gibbs
- George Robinson as Isaac Goodwin
- Chinenye Ezeudu as Vivienne 'Viv' Odusanya
- Dua Saleh as Cal Bowman
- Samantha Spiro as Maureen Groff
- Dan Levy as Thomas Molloy
- Thaddea Graham
- Marie Reuther
- Felix Mufti
- Anthony Lexa
- Alexandra James
- Reda Elazouar
- Bella Maclean
- Imani Yahshua
The Sex Education cast is quite expansive and many are returning for season four.
It was confirmed that Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa will reprise his role as Eric Effiong in the new episodes.
However, a number of stars will not be returning, including Patricia Allison and Tanya Reynolds, as Allison told Capital Xtra Breakfast that she would not be back for more episodes as Ola Nyman.
"I won't be joining the team for season 4," she said. "I absolutely have loved my time on Sex Education, and I'm so sorry to have to break that to you guys.
"I've been doing it for three years and I've loved it."
Meanwhile, Tanya Reynolds also revealed to RadioTimes.com that she would not be returning as Ola's girlfriend, Lily Iglehart.
"I'm not [returning], actually, which is sad, very sad," Reynolds said. "It's just the natural progression of these shows – when you have such big ensemble casts and so many characters, I think you have to let a few older characters go to make way for newer ones, which is absolutely the right thing, the way it should happen."
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She added: "I loved every minute of it and I loved Lily with my whole entire heart. Three seasons was just a really perfect amount for me."
Meanwhile, Rakhee Thakrar recently revealed she won't be returning as Emily Sands either, telling the Daily Star on Sunday: "I'm not part of the new series. I can't really talk about why. But I'm so proud of the show and grateful to have been part of something so important. There is nothing bad about Sex Education."
Other returning stars include Asa Butterfield as awkward teenage sex therapist Otis, screen legend Gillian Anderson as his frank mother Jean, and Emma Mackey as troubled social outcast Maeve.
Other actors also set to return include Connor Swindells as reformed bully Adam, BAFTA-winner Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee, Kedar Williams-Stirling as former jock Jackson and Alistair Petrie as the disgraced Mr Groff.
Sex Education does a great job of showcasing its supporting cast of course, so reappearances are also confirmed for Mimi Keene as Ruby, and Samantha Spiro as Adam's mum Maureen.
New cast members have also been announced in the form of Doctor Who's Thaddea Graham, Kamikaze's Marie Reuther, and newcomers Felix Mufti, Anthony Lexa, Alexandra James, Reda Elazouar, Bella Maclean, and Imani Yahshua.
Meanwhile, Schitt's Creek favourite Dan Levy is joining the cast as Thomas Molloy, a renowned cult author who is tutoring Maeve during her time in the US.
When quizzed on her Sex Education future, she told ITV's This Morning: "I get asked that all the time. No, I'm a Bridgerton girl now."
The cast list doesn't stop there, however. Chinenye Ezeudu is set to return as overachiever Viv, while George Robinson is set to reappear as Maeve's neighbour Isaac.
Season 3 new addition Dua Saleh will also be returning as non-binary student Cal who continues to be the subject of Jackson's affections.
We may also see Otis' dad Remi (James Purefoy) pop up again, as well as Jackson's mothers Roz (Sharon Duncan-Brewster), and Sofia (Hannah Waddingham), who had a cameo in the third series.
It remains to be seen whether Maeve's family will return as they are largely absent from her life – though Anne Marie-Duff is a likely candidate after appearing in both seasons two and three.
Maeve's estranged brother Sean (Edward Bluemel) is a less likely prospect, as he has not been seen since season one.
“I have to wait and see really," Bluemel told RadioTimes.com. "It’s definitely something that has been talked about and I think, judging by people who have watched the show, I think it makes sense if he does return.”
“It’s an interesting one playing a character who’s entire schtick is that he’s never there, because you’re like, ‘Oh yes, I’ve been cast as this brilliant role,’ but his main thing is that he’s never, ever there, so it’s quite funny waiting.”
Sex Education season 4 new cast
It has also been confirmed that the Netflix hit comedy is seeking to cast two trans actors to play two trans characters in the upcoming episodes as the show confirms a move to college.
Series writer Krishna Istha wrote on Twitter: “CASTING CALL for two new trans characters in SEX EDUCATION Season 4. Trans actors get on it!!!”
The new characters include Abbi, a young trans woman “with a ’90s Winona Ryder vibe” who is “the queen bee of her college”, plus her boyfriend Kent who is trans-masculine and described as a “goofy, forgetful and a great listener”.
Sex Education season 4 plot
It seems that season four will see a bit of a shake-up for the show following the events of the last series. Moordale High is seemingly shutting down after investors pulled funding following the students' protest against headteacher Hope's new rules.
And though Maeve and Otis finally got together in the third series, Maeve ended up leaving for America before their relationship could get off the ground. We'll have to wait and see if season four sees them try out long-distance or picks up once Maeve is back in Moordale.
The official plot synopsis released by Netflix states: "Following the closure of Moordale Secondary, Otis and Eric now face a new frontier - their first day at Cavendish Sixth Form College. Otis is nervous about setting up his new clinic, whilst Eric is praying they won’t be losers again.
"But Cavendish is a culture shock for all the Moordale students - they thought they were progressive but this new college is another level. There’s daily yoga in the communal garden, a strong sustainability vibe and a group of kids who are popular for being… kind?!"
It adds: "Viv is totally thrown by the college’s student-led, non-competitive approach, while Jackson is still struggling to get over Cal. Aimee tries something new by taking an Art A Level and Adam grapples with whether mainstream education is for him.
"Over in the US, Maeve is living her dream at prestigious Wallace University, being taught by cult author Thomas Molloy. Otis is pining after her, whilst adjusting to not being an only child at home, or the only therapist on campus…"
Sex Education star Aimee Lou Wood recently teased that season four will feel "a lot more grown up" than previous seasons, with the Aimee Gibbs actress telling RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview that series creator Laurie Nunn told her a bit about the upcoming series.
"I actually spoke to Laurie a bit about some stories because I’m so excited, I just really wanted to know what’s going to happen with Aimee next – and everyone else.
"She told me a few things and I think it’s going to be great. It’s going to be really weird because obviously, I don’t know how it’s going to be because Moordale’s gone. It’s going to be a very different feeling I think to how it has been, but probably in a good way because I think they are growing up.
"Season three felt a lot more grown up, I thought. I think it’s going to go even further in season four," she added.
The season 3 finale also teased that Jakob might not be the father of Jean's baby, which would certainly put their fragile relationship – and their newfound family dynamic – to the test.
Other plot points set up in the third series likely to be explored in season four include Cal and fellow non-binary student Layla's budding friendship, and even a potential love triangle between Eric, Adam and Rahim, Eric's previous ex-boyfriend.
How did Sex Educations season 3 end?
Moordale school closed down as Hope Haddon’s regime collapsed and the school lost its financial backers.
In the aftermath, Hope herself pursued another round of IVF treatment after three years of disappointment and revealed she felt like a failure but was comforted by Otis who explained to her why it is important to be open about body and sex issues.
Elsewhere, Eric admitted to Adam that he kissed another guy while in Lagos but revealed that he does not regret it and still feels held back by Adam, ending their relationship.
Adam was heartbroken but pursued his passion for dog shows with pet pooch Madame, with mum Maureen and teacher Emily Sands in the audience at a show cheering him on.
Troubled couple Lily and Ola reconciled their romance after Lily reclaimed her alien passions and Ola addressed her grief for her mother.
Additionally, Jean gave birth to her and Jakob’s baby but faced complications and almost died. However, she recovered and there was a new family unit with her, Jakob, Otis and Ola.
However, a twist revealed that Jakob may not be the father of Jean's baby after all - throwing their future into doubt.
In another storyline, former headmaster Michael Groff underwent some growth and stood up to his bully brother Peter before then having passionate sex with his estranged wife Maureen.
Despite Michael's hopes of full reconciliation, Maureen put this on hold as she didn't want to confuse their son, Adam.
In the finale, we finally met high-achiever Viv’s stunning boyfriend Eugene.
Elsewhere, Jackson got together with non-binary student Cal and tried to understand what that means to him, but their identities just didn't fit easily enough together at the moment but they remain friends.
In an emotional storyline, Aimee went to therapy for her trauma after being sexually harassed back in the second season and also reconciled with best friend Maeve after secretly paying for her school trip and causing an argument.
Aimee went on to break up with her sweet boyfriend Steve as she wants to explore who she is alone.
Another person who made some peace was "untouchable" Ruby who reached good terms with Otis after their romance ended due to her unrequited love for him.
Finally, Isaac ended things with Maeve before Otis finally professed his endless love for her, prompting them to kiss.
Despite being on the brink of a romantic relationship, Maeve departed for a time in the US to study there, paid for by her fugitive mother Erin.
Will Otis and Maeve find their way back together?
Is there a trailer for Sex Education season 4?
We didn't get a trailer for season three until 10 days (!) before release – so with season four not even green-lit yet never mind filming, don't expect a trailer for quite a while.
We'll update this page with the Sex Education season four trailer as soon as it is released.
Looking for something else to watch? Visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.