‘Sex Education’ Season 4: Netflix Release Date Estimate & What We Know So Far
Sex Education is returning to Netflix for a fourth season, but it won’t be on Netflix until mid-2023 at the absolute earliest, so it’ll be a long wait until we return to Moordale Secondary School. Here’s a rundown of everything we know about Sex Education season 4.
The raunchy and rambunctious comedy has never failed to disappoint. The show first debuted on Netflix in January 2019, with the most recent third season arriving on September 17th, 2021.
Expect big changes going into season 4 with a raft of cast members no longer in the show or set to depart so without any further ado, let’s dig into Sex Education season 4:
When was Sex Education renewed for a fourth season?
Official Netflix Renewal Status: Renewed on September 25th, 2021
Unsurprisingly, Netflix has renewed Sex Education for its fourth season. The news broke during Netflix’s TUDUM event just a week after season 3 dropped.
Breaking News out of #TUDUM!
Sex Education has been renewed for Season 4! pic.twitter.com/8N2WwNLqoG
— Netflix (@netflix) September 25, 2021
Through Netflix’s new top 10 data, we can see that season 3 was one of the biggest shows of the month of September 2021. At one point too it ranked in the all-time top 10 series list with 418.76 million hours watched in the first 28 days.
The show featured in the weekly global top 10s for six weeks and here’s how those hours break down week-by-week:
|Week Period||Hours Viewed(M)||Rank||Week in Top 10|
|September 12th, 2021 to September 19th, 2021||125,770,000||1||1|
|September 19th, 2021 to September 26th, 2021||160,420,000 (+28%)||1||2|
|September 26th, 2021 to October 3rd, 2021||72,870,000 (-55%)||1||3|
|October 3rd, 2021 to October 10th, 2021||42,120,000 (-42%)||3||4|
|October 10th, 2021 to October 17th, 2021||28,190,000 (-33%)||3||5|
|October 17th, 2021 to October 24th, 2021||18,380,000 (-35%)||7||6|
When can we expect to see Sex Education season 4 on Netflix?
We’ve been lucky to receive a season of Sex Education every year since it was first released on Netflix in January 2019. However, the fourth season will be the first of the series to break the streak.
Production listings as of June 2022 suggested that the series would begin filming in July 2022 but not wrap up until at least March 2023. Reports came that filming only got underway in August 2022 and other reports in August confirmed the same.
Filming once again took place in Wales (a lot in the capital, Cardiff) in the United Kingdom, and we’re told the show reportedly has a budget between $3 and $5 million per episode.
Filming reportedly wrapped on February 10th, 2023, with an Instagram Story (no longer available) from Aimee Lou Wood (who plays Aimee Gibbs) posted a bunch of flowers on her Instagram stories along with the caption, “Wrap on season 4. Everyone has worked so hard. Thank you. Love you.”
Given the information about season 4 of Sex Education, we speculate a summer 2023 release at the absolute earliest.
Sex Education Season 4 Cast: Departures, New & Returning
There are a lot of changes going into season 4 of Sex Education, so let’s begin with the returning cast members.
The confirmed returning cast includes:
- Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn
- Asa Butterfield as Otis
- Emma Mackey as Maeve
- Ncuti Gatwa as Eric
- Connor Swindells as Adam
- Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee
- Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson
We were unsure if she would be returning, but thanks to some of the new promotional material we can confirm that Mimi Keene, the actress who plays Ruby, will be returning for season 4. With Maeve away in the United States, will we see Ruby and Otis get back together?..
New Cast Members Confirmed for Sex Education Season 4
Dan Levy has been cast in the upcoming fourth season of Sex Education. Levy has been cast in the role of Thomas Molloy, a famous author who happens to be Maeve’s course tutor while she attends an Ivy League College in the USA. Levy is best known for Schitt’s Creek and working on a new Netflix movie.
In December 2022, we exclusively reported that Andi Osho had joined the cast of season 4. Osho will be playing Cal’s mum, Nicky Bowman.
Other new faces you’ll see in Sex Education season 4 include:
- Bella Maclean as Jem
- Anil Desai as Dr. Hunt
- Felix Mufti as Roman
- Anthony Lexa as Abbi
- Alexandra James as Aisha
- Reda Elazouar
Sex Education Season 4 Casting Calls
In November 2021, Krishna Istha (one of the show’s writers) put out a widely shared casting call looking for two new characters to feature in season 4 that have been referred to as a trans “power couple.”
The two new characters Netflix is casting for include:
- Abbi (age 18-23) – Abbi is a young trans woman with a 90s Winona Ryder vibe, who is confident and self-assured in her gender identity. Abbi is the leader of her group and the queen bee of her college – every girl either wants to be like her, or be friends with her. She’s sunny, magnetic, generous and loyal. When Abbi came out as a trans woman, she was kicked out of the house by her conservative parents. She currently lives with her boyfriend, Kent, whose family are much more accepting. Abbi used to be religious, but had to move away from her faith when it started to damage her sense of self. She still considers herself ‘spiritual’, and attends a secular and inclusive congregation which celebrates community and chosen family.
- Kent (age 18-23) – Kent is trans-masculine, goofy, forgetful, and a great listener. He is Abbi’s boyfriend, and they’re the ultimate power couple – they’ve been together for a while and are the epitome of ‘couple goals’, everyone loves them. Kent isn’t as sure about being one of the popular kids as Abbi, but he knows himself and feels quietly confident about his final year at college.
New character called Joanna will recur in Season 4
We’ve also exclusively learned of a new character called Joanna, who will feature in season 4.
We don’t know too much about the new character but she has been described as a British woman in her early 40s, free-spirited, and has a sense of humor.
Sex Education Cast Departures
Throughout 2022, we learned that multiple supporting cast members will leave the series and not return for the fourth season. Indeed, we also know that a few cast members will call Sex Education season 4 their last.
Patricia Allison has played the role of Ola in all three seasons of Sex Education, but the actress has revealed that opportunities elsewhere mean she won’t be returning in season 4. In an interview with Captial Xtra, Allison said the following about her departure.
“I know, I absolutely have loved being on Sex Education so so much, and playing Ola but unfortunately, I won’t be joining the team for season four. I’m so sorry to have to break that to you guys but umm, I’m just going to be doing some other little things, some other opportunities have come up. So, I’ve been doing it for three years and I’ve, like, genuinely loved it.”
Soon after, it was confirmed that Tanya Reynolds, who played Ola’s girlfriend Lily, would also not return for the fourth season. Reynolds had the following to say on her departure from the show:
“I think that for Lily, her storyline was just wrapped up quite nicely at the end of season three. So she’s got no loose ends to tie up, she had quite a happy ending.
At the end of last season, everyone kind of gets scattered, and I think that’s just a good opportunity to bring in some new characters. I will absolutely miss her. I love, love Lily with my whole entire being and I had the best time on those three seasons, and I will miss it for sure. I will miss Lily and I will miss the gang. But it just kind of feels very right. It feels like time.”
Bridgerton actress Simone Ashley who had a recurring role as Olivia, will also be leaving the series.
Finally, the fourth confirmed actor to leave the show is Rakhee Thakrar, who played the role of supportive teacher Emily Sands. She had the following to say on her departure;
“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.”
Ncuti Gatwa in February 2023 confirmed that he will be departing the series in February 2023. Gatwa had been suspected of leaving the show given his new role in BBC’s Doctor Who. In an Instagram post on February 8th, the actor who plays Eric said, “Last day. Last time. Bye bubs, thank you for all the lessons and for all the strength.”
Emma Mackey in February 2023 has also confirmed her departure from the show and will not be returning for a fifth season. After winning her BAFTA Rising Star Award, Mackey spoke to the press about the fifth season of Sex Education;
Season 5? I’ve just finished the fourth one last week! No I don’t think I’ll be in season 5. I’ve said goodbye to Maeve.
As the lead actress of the series, it’s a huge deal that Mackey will be leaving after season 4.
What to expect from the fourth season of Sex Education?
Like the end of every season of Sex Education thus far, season 3 left us with many questions for the next season.
Otis x Maeve Back on Track?
Just as the pair finally admitted their feelings for each other a new romance was blossoming, Maeve dropped a bombshell that she would be going to the US for a couple of months putting the relationship on hold for now.
We’ll get the chance to see what the future holds for their relationship when Maeve gets back from America, but two months apart, and time abroad could see a radical change in Maeve upon her return.
Regarding the future of Maeve, Emma Mackey told ELLE “I’m excited for her to make some new friends, to open up a bit more and be exposed to a different culture, to a different kind of world. Because she’s only ever lived in her little tiny bubbles. How is she out of that bubble?”
Eric is often the voice of reason for Otis and a lot of the time has helped by being the moral compass of the series. However, that hasn’t stopped him from cheating on both boyfriends he’s had. First, he cheated on Rahim with former bully Adam, and then while in Nigeria he cheated on Adam with photographer Oba.
Eric has broken up with Adam so that he can explore his sexuality without being tied down to a relationship. How Eric wishes to explore his newfound confidence remains to be seen, but there is a chance he’s put Adam and Rahim on a collision course for their own relationship.
Who is Joy’s real father?
With the birth of his little sister Joy, you’d think that Otis, Jean, Ola, and Jakob could look forward to life as a happy family. However, Jean received some unwelcome news while at the hospital, heavily suggesting that Jakob may not be the father of Joy after all.
We know Jean had a healthy sex life before meeting Jakob, having regular encounters with Dan and Harry. And while Jean only kissed her ex-husband Remi, was it actually something more that we didn’t see on-screen?
We did see Dan return in season 3, having a brief comedic moment outside of the hospital joking about the possibility of the baby being his. It’s between Dan and Remi who the potential father is, which is guaranteed to break Jakob’s heart again.
Will Cal find themselves a relationship?
Cal is only one of two students that we know of at Moordale Academy that identify as non-binary. By the end of the season, Cal befriended Layla, another non-binary student who struggled throughout the season, preferring to follow rules and avoid conflict, even if that mean conflicting with their beliefs.
Layla had been hurting themselves, not as a form of self-harm, but was uneducated on the right attire to help look less feminine. Thanks to Cal, Layla now has the right idea on how to help themselves while preparing for school.
Just because Cal and Layla are the only non-binary students, that doesn’t mean they should instantly be together, but Cal made it clear to Jackson that they needed to be in a relationship where they weren’t seen as a woman. Of all the students in the school, Cal and Layla will understand each other the most, which could lead to a potential relationship.
The Future of Moordale
The students of Moordale were successful in their protest against principal Hope Haddon, but perhaps a little bit too successful.
The student’s very public and proud protest as the infamous “Sex School” left the board and investors to resort to desperate measures. Hope was removed as the head of the school, and the investors pulled their funding, leaving the board with little to no choice but to sell the school.
This has left the future of Moordale in serious doubt as all the students are now going to be forced to find a new school to finish their secondary school education.
However, there is hope. When Jackson was reading his tablet the headline of the article he was reading said “Sex School Inspires Protests Around the Country!”. This means if multiple schools around the country are taking the same stance, then the government may have to choose the future of how sex education is taught in the UK, leaving the door open for Moordale to continue.
Will Otis revive the Sex Clinic?
With Otis and Maeve making up and a lack of a decent Sex Education at Moordale Academy could see Otis reviving the sex clinic for wayward students needing help.
It certainly would be a great way to occupy Otis’ time while Maeve is in America. But with the removal of the old toilets, Otis will need to find a new “clinic” to give students advice.
Will there be a season 5 of Sex Education?
What’s unknown is whether there’ll be more Sex Education after season 4.
Aimee Lou Wood told Radio Times that she’s not sure if the show could continue saying:
“I’m not sure because there’s a part of me that could just do it forever. But there’s also a part of me that’s like, ‘No – we’ve all got to go and do different things and play different parts. It’s a bittersweet thing because it probably is, even if it’s not this series, it probably is closer now to ending than it is to the start. Which is sad but also probably in many ways, will be positive. I always think leave them wanting more as well. Always leave them wanting more.”
Asa Butterfield concurred, telling Digital Spy, “I don’t think it needs more than four or five [seasons]. But who knows.”
Everything Else We Know About Season 4 of Sex Education
- Dominic Leclerc will direct episodes 1-3 of season 4
- Writers on season 4 include Ethan Harvey, Bella Heesom, Selina Lim
- Season 4 is expected to be eight episodes as per prior seasons.
Would you like to see a fourth season of Sex Education on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!