Netflix’s hit show and star-maker Sex Education will graduate for good this fall, with its upcoming fourth season to be its last. Netflix announced the end of the show with a Season 4 trailer and a heartfelt letter to fans from series creator Laurie Nunn.
Even before the announcement that the show was coming to a close, Season 4 was anticipated to be a departure from the norm for the show, with a change of setting and many series regulars leaving the show. The end of Season 3 saw Moordale Secondary School closing, forcing the characters to move to different schools.
The end of Sex Education is bittersweet, because while it will be sorely missed, it will also open its stellar cast up to new opportunities. Aside from being one of the most hilarious and heartfelt shows of recent years, Sex Education has proven itself to be fertile ground for young UK actors.
One of the main cast who will not return for Season 4, is Simone Ashley who has already swapped contemporary high school for the equally cutthroat Regency society when she left Sex Education at the end of Season 3 to star as Kate Sharma in Bridgerton. Tanya Reynolds, who plays Lily, is also leaving the show, and she already has a number of non-Sex Education successes to her name, including the 2020 Jane Austen adaptation Emma and miniseries I Hate You. Patricia Allison and Rakhee Thakrar are also among the cast members not returning for Season 4.
Fortunately, some of Sex Education’s biggest stars will see the show through to the very end, including perhaps the biggest name to grow out of the show, Ncuti Gatwa, the new face of Doctor Who. Gatwa is currently filming his first season of Doctor Who, and will star in the upcoming Barbie movie, but somehow between Barbie and Doctor Who he was able to squeeze in filming for the final season of Sex Education. The trailer for Season 4 finds Gatwa’s character Eric and best friend Otis (Asa Butterfield) thankfully relocated to the same school.
Other main cast who will continue through the end of the show are Gillian Anderson (The Crown), Emma Mackey (Emily), Connor Swindells (Rogue Heroes), Kedar Williams-Stirling (Small Axe), Mimi Keene (Before), George Robinson (Dalgliesh), Chinenye Ezeudu (The School for Good & Evil), and singer Dua Saleh. Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy will join the cast as a tutor for Mackey’s character Maeve.
In her letter to the show’s fans, the show’s creator Laurie Nunn reassured fans that the team behind the Sex Education took great care in deciding to end the show. She wrote:
We wanted to make a show that would answer some of the questions we all used to have about love, sex, friendship, and our bodies. Something that would have helped our inner teenagers feel a little less alone. It’s been overwhelming seeing how the show has connected with people around the world, and we hope it’s made some of you feel a little less alone too.
Writing this feels bittersweet, as we’ve decided the fourth season will also be the final installment of our show. This was not an easy decision to make, but as the themes and stories of the new season crystallised, it became clear that this was the right time to graduate.
Sex Education may be coming to an end, but the cast won’t be leaving our TV screens anytime soon. No doubt Sex Education’s stars will populate British TV for decades to come.
Season 4 of Sex Education will premiere on Netflix September 21. Seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix now.