Netflix has confirmed Kirke’s casting as Hope, who has aspirations of rebuilding the school’s previously stellar reputation – and she’ll be joined in the cast by two other newcomers.
Harry Potter and Star Trek: Discovery star Jason Isaacs joins as Peter Groff, the more successful – and immodest – oldest brother of previous headteacher Mr Groff (Alistair Petrie), who is now living with him after separating from his wife.
And recording artist and songwriter Dua Saleh makes their acting debut in the series, playing nonbinary student Cal, who clashes with the new headmistress almost instantly.
Although she is most famous for her role as Jessa Johansson on Girls, Kirke has also appeared in a number of independent films and had a recurring role in Netflix series Maniac in 2018.
The three new stars join an already impressive Sex Education cast that includes Gillian Anderson as sex therapist Jean Milburn and Asa Butterfield as her son and lead character Otis, as well as breakout stars such as Emma Mackey and Ncuti Gatwa.
Production on the third season is currently underway, having previously been postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and is expected to arrive on Netflix towards the start of 2021.
The series has attracted a devoted following since its 2019 debut, with viewers particularly invested in the central will-they-wont-they romance between awkward Otis (Butterfield) and cool girl Maeve (Mackey).