Sex Education season 3: Release date, cast, plot and everything you need to know

Sex Education season 3: Release date, cast, plot and everything you need to know


Sex Education spoilers follow.

Sex Education season 3 was confirmed by Netflix quite a while ago.

The announcement was made by none other than Headmaster Groff (Alistair Petrie) in a YouTube video posted on February 2020.

Fast-forward to July 2020, and Asa Butterfield (who plays Otis) told Digital Spy in an exclusive interview that he had read the first episode and was "really happy".

"It didn't go where I anticipated it to," he added. "A few things have changed. I'm excited."

You and us both...

We've been waiting for what feels like too long for the Netflix Original's highly anticipated third instalment. If you're on the hunt for updates, here's everything you need to know about Sex Education season three...

Sex Education season 3 release date: When will it air?

Netflix has officially confirmed that Sex Education's third season will stream from September 17.

Announcing the news on Twitter, we were also given a cheeky first-look – which includes some of our favourite characters in uniform, hinting at a big change from previous seasons.

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Both seasons one and two premiered in January (2019 and 2020 respectively), but You Know What forced production on the third chapter to kick off later than planned, which means that that wait for season three has been even longer.

Season three will comprise eight new episodes.

Sex Education season 3 cast: Who's in it?

In the season three announcement video, the following familiar faces all popped up, which we fully expected given how integral they are to the series:

Otis, Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), Jean (Gillian Anderson), Maeve (Emma Mackey), Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood), Adam (Connor Swindells), Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling), Ola (Patricia Allison), Lily (Tanya Reynolds), and Headmaster Groff (Alistair Petrie).

We'd also expect to see Olivia (Simone Ashley, who has since been cast as a lead in Bridgerton season two), Ruby (Mimi Keene) and Anwar (Chaneil Kular) – aka The Untouchables – all return.

Plus, Aimee's boyfriend Steve (Chris Jenks), Miss Sands (Rakhee Thakrar), Mr Hendricks (Jim Howick), Ola's dad Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt), Adam's mum Maureen (Samantha Spiro), Jackson's mums Sofia (Hannah Waddingham) and Roz (Sharon Duncan-Brewster), and possibly Otis's dad Remi (James Purefoy), among others.

Season two also added three new cast members: Rahim (Sami Outalbali), super-smart Viv (Chinenye Ezeudu) and Maeve's new neighbour Isaac (George Robinson).

And season three has some new additions in store, too.

Harry Potter and Star Trek: Discovery's Jason Isaacs has been cast as Peter Groff, headmaster Groff's older, more successful brother. We also know Adam's dad has been staying with him following his split from his wife Maureen.

Girls star Jemima Kirke will play the school's new headmistress 'Hope' after Mr Groff was booted out.

She used to be a Moordale student herself, so she has big plans to get the establishment back to its winning ways.

And finally, Dua Saleh, a gender-non-conforming songwriter and recording artist will play Cal, a non-binary student who is at loggerheads with headmistress Hope.

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But whether we'll see Anne-Marie Duff back as Maeve's mum Erin remains to be seen. They didn't exactly part on good terms. And Maeve's brother Sean (Edward Bluemel) rocked up in season one, but we haven't seen him since. Could he feature?

Asked by the Radio Times if he'd like to return, Bluemel said: "I have to wait and see really. 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."

Sex Education season 2 ending explained and season 3 plot: What will happen?

Laurie Nunn is the master of juggling multiple characters and their individual storylines, charting their wins (big and small), and their struggles and anxieties, all of which will need to be further tackled in season three.

Ola and Otis called it a day, which allowed Ola to move on with Lily, while Otis built up the courage to leave that voicemail on Maeve's phone.

"It's you," he said. "It's always been you. I love you."

But Isaac, who has also taken a shine to Maeve, threw a spanner in the works when he deleted Otis's declaration of love.


We know that there's going to be a time jump, according to Butterfield.

"Otis is back at school but he's got different things on his plate," he told The Guardian. "He's grown up a bit and become slightly more sassy. It's been fun to portray his newfound charisma. Don't worry, though, he's still tragically awkward too."

At the end of season two, Maeve rang social services after she discovered that her mum had started using drugs again. She apologised to Erin, but Nunn left them on bad terms.

Then there's Eric, who chose Adam over Rahim. But while young Groff is on the path to becoming a better man, he still has a lot of work to do. Expect plenty of fireworks.

Gatwa has also teased some details about his character's home life.

"This season, Eric returns back to his culture a lot more and I think those scenes were very special, just having a set where the majority of people were Black," he said, speaking to Digital Spy and other press ahead of the BAFTA TV Awards. "And it was really great and really powerful, and represented Eric's culture and his family. Those are always quite profound moments."

He added: "Season one, there's a scene where he goes to prom in a full African outfit and a Gele, a Nigerian headdress, and I was like, 'Wow, I'm on a Netflix set, a big set, representing a culture that doesn't normally get represented, representing a character that doesn't normally get represented. This feels good.'

"So any time he returns back to his culture, or is with Otis, those are the favourite scenes of mine."

Aimee suffered a traumatic ordeal when she was sexually assaulted on the bus on her way to school. With the help of Maeve and the other girls in detention, she eventually opened up about how she was feeling and, while still shaken, was able to acknowledge what had happened to her.

"I love the way that they dealt with her arc because it wasn't: 'Oh, she was traumatised. And now she's over it!'," Wood told Digital Spy.

"She went through all the stages of grief. It was sustained, and it was believable, and it was honest. Already in episode one – I can still see that there's echoes of season two and it's still very much a present thing for her."

According to Aimee Lou Wood, there’ll be continuing complications, which reflects the real-life trauma experienced by survivors (via The Guardian).

"It can’t just be resolved – all the girls get on the bus with her and she’s over it… She needed to hear someone say: it’s OK that you’re forever changed.

"Especially in season three, she goes on this real thing with her feminism, starting to really love her vulva. She becomes a feminist icon without having a fucking clue, and that’s what’s so funny about her.

"I used to be very much like Aimee in the sense that I only wanted one side of myself to be shown, which was: 'I’m the court jester!' But I was in so much pain underneath it all."

Though we’ll be seeing a different side to Aimee in the new season (via Vogue).

"We were filming a crying scene for Season 3 and there was so much snot all over my face, I could feel it," Wood said. "They asked me if I wanted to go again, and I was like, 'No, it’s fine, I would be snotty, it’s real!'

"I’m so grateful that I was trusted with that storyline. We had such incredible feedback from so many people who had been through similar stuff," she said."That’s what Sex Ed does so beautifully: it’s happy then sad, tragic, then funny. It really captures what life is."

We’ll also be seeing a different dimension to Ruby, according to Mimi Keene (via EliteDaily).

"I'm excited for people to see that, because it's very different from what they've seen before," Keene said.

"There is a very emotional phone call. I would say that is one of my favorite bits of her journey," she continued. "I think everyone will be feeling emosh when they watch it. That's as much as I will say. I don't want to ruin it, because it's a good moment."

Jackson finally started to talk about his own mental health, ditching the pool and his strictly jock existence to become more of an everyman, pursuing a way of life that makes him happy.

That resulted in the beginnings of a new friendship with Viv and him taking to the stage as Romeo in Lily's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. But what will he turn his hand to next?