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Sex Education season 3: release date speculation, cast, plot, and more

Ncuti Gatwa and Asa Butterfield in Sex Education
(Image credit: IMDb)

Sex Education season 3 isn't here yet, but we're counting down the days until the hit show returns to Netflix – especially after what went down in the season 2 finale. Nearly every TV show has been delayed by the pandemic, and Sex Education is no exception. However, filming finished last month, so we're one step closer to getting season 3.

While we wait, there's been plenty of news to tide us over, including casting announcements (expect to see a few new faces around Moordale High), behind-the-scenes photos, and our best guesses at when we might be able to expect a trailer and a release date. There have also been some hints about the plot of the new season courtesy of Asa Butterfield, who plays Otis. Hopefully, that's enough to be getting on with in the meantime – read on to find out everything we know so far about Sex Education season 3.

Sex Education season 3 release date

Gillian Anderson in Sex Education

(Image credit: IMDb)

Production for Sex Education season 3 started in September 2020 (delayed from April due to, you guessed it, coronavirus), but unfortunately we don’t have a release date yet. However, we’ve done some calculations to try and work out when we might be able to expect it.

Netflix announced that Sex Education had been renewed for season 2 on February 1, 2019, and the season premiered on January 17, 2020. The announcement about season 3 also occurred in February 2020 – obviously, a January 2021 release date isn’t on the cards as filming was delayed this time around. 

If we take this five-month setback into account, we’re potentially looking at Sex Education season 3 dropping in June 2021. As for when we can expect to find out (if our prediction is correct), season 2’s release date was announced around two months before it aired, so keep an eye out in April 2021.

Sex Education season 3 cast

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Good news – lots of familiar faces are returning to carry on where we left off at the end of season 2. Asa Butterfield will be back as Otis, with Gillian Anderson returning as his sex therapist mother Jean. Other returning Moordale students include Ncuti Gatwa as Otis’ best friend Eric, Emma Mackey as Maeve, Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee, Connor Swindells as Adam, Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson, Patricia Allison as Ola, and Tanya Reynolds as Lily. Alistair Petrie will reprise his role as Adam’s father and former headmaster, Mr Groff, too. 

There are some new faces in the cast, too. Girls actor Jemima Kirke will play Moordale’s new headteacher, Hope, while musician Dua Saleh is non-binary student Cal. Jason Isaacs, of Harry Potter and Star Trek: Discovery fame, is also on board, playing Peter Groff, Mr Groff’s “more successful/less modest” older brother.

Sex Education season 3 trailer: when can we expect one?

Kedar Williams-Stirling in Sex Education

(Image credit: IMDb)

We don’t have a trailer yet, unfortunately. In the lead-up to season 2, Netflix released the trailer 10 days before the release date, so we still have a long time to wait – keep your eyes peeled in early June 2021 (maybe). In the meantime, we’ve got some behind the scenes photos that Tanya Reynolds, who plays Lily, took on set to tide us over.

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Sex Education season 3 plot

Alistair Petrie and Connor Swindells in Sex Education

(Image credit: IMDb)

Warning: season 2 spoilers ahead. 

As far as confirmed plot details go, we don’t have much so far, but Asa Butterfield (who plays Otis) gave us the first hints of what we can expect from Sex Education season 3 in an interview with The Guardian.

“There’s a bit of a time-jump since the season two cliffhanger,” Butterfield said. “Otis is back at school but he’s got different things on his plate. 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.”

On Otis’ will-they-won’t-they relationship with Maeve (Emma Mackey), Butterfield added: “Their relationship continues to develop in season three. We also explore why Otis was running his sex therapy clinic in the first place. Was it just to be close to Maeve or does he get fulfillment from helping people?”

The new cast announcements also give us a little insight into what may happen in Sex Education season 3 – for example, we know that there’s a new headteacher in town, in the form of newly cast Jemima Kirke, so we can guess that there’ll be some changes at Moordale High. 

Plus, there are quite a few loose ends from the end of season 2 to tie up, so we can hazard a guess at what’s to come. For one thing, Jean finds out she’s pregnant in the season finale – after her relationship with Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt) has already broken down. Plus, Jean and Otis aren’t talking to each other after she found out about the sex advice clinic he was running at school, so Otis has yet to find out. 

Meanwhile, Adam overcomes his insecurities to publicly declare his feelings for Eric, so we’ll no doubt get to see how their relationship develops in season 3. Meanwhile, Otis tries to do the same thing, leaving Maeve a voicemail apologising for his behaviour and telling her that he loves her. However, Maeve’s friend Isaac (George Robinson) deletes the message and sends Otis away when he comes to see her – will Maeve ever find out how he feels?

Elsewhere in the season 2 finale, Maeve finds out that her mum (Anne-Marie Duff) is using drugs again and calls social services on her. The authorities take away her little sister, leaving Maeve on her own again, which is bound to have emotional repercussions that can be explored in season 3.

While we wait for Sex Education season 3 to arrive, make sure to check out everything we know about another Netflix series, The Witcher season 2.