The Sex Education season 3 cast sees some new faces walking the halls of Moordale Secondary School, alongside all the returning fan favorite characters. Across its first two seasons, Sex Education has become one of Netflix’s best and buzziest shows. Tackling a range of teenage issues in a way that always feels authentic, it manages to be important without being pandering or preachy, and still offers up plenty of heartfelt drama and hilarious comedy at the same time.
Sex Education season 3 is no different in that regard. Releasing on Netflix on September 17, 2021, season 3 has to deal with the fallout of Sex Education season 2’s dramatic cliffhanger ending, which saw Otis leave a voicemail proclaiming his love for Maeve, only for Isaac to secretly delete it. Elsewhere, there’s Eric’s burgeoning relationship with Adam, and the not-so-small matter of Jean’s pregnancy as well.
Related: Sex Education Recap: What To Know & Remember For Season 3
At the same time, there are also some big changes afoot for Moordale, which includes a new headteacher who looks to shake things up and get the school back on track. With new characters and new relationships, there’s a lot more for the show to explore, and more for its talented roster of actors to dive into. Here’s a complete guide to Sex Education season 3’s cast and characters.
Sex Education Season 3’s Main Cast & Characters
Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn: Otis is once again the show’s main character in Sex Education season 3 (though it’s increasingly an ensemble piece), charting his new relationship will still dealing with the end of his romance with Maeve. Butterfield played the title roles in the movies Hugo and Ender’s Game, and also starred in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn: Otis’ mum, Jean, may be used to giving out advice, but in season 3 she’s also got plenty to deal with herself thanks to her pregnancy and relationship issues with Jakob. Anderson is, of course, best known for playing Dana Scully in The X-Files, and more recently Margaret Thatcher in The Crown season 4.
Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley: Sex Education season 3 picks up with Maeve and Otis still on the outs, while she remains close to Isaac following on from season 2’s cliffhanger. Season 3 also delves more into Maeve’s family life and the struggles of her mum. Sex Education was Mackey’s breakthrough role, but she’s set to appear in Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile in 2022.
Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong: Otis’ best friend once again gets a lot of focus in Sex Education season 3, as his relationship with Adam is in full swing, while it also shows more of his family life. Gatwa also appeared in the Netflix movie The Last Letter from Your Lover in 2021.
Connor Swindells as Adam Groff: The school bully turned good, Adam continues to develop as a person and reveal new sides and hidden depths, both through his relationship with Eric and otherwise. Swindells has also made appearances in Emma and Vigil, but is best known for Sex Education.
Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson Marchetti: The one time swimming star is Moordale’s Head Boy, but finds himself ready to challenge authority more in Sex Education season 3. Williams-Sterling’s previous credits include Shank, Montana, and Wolfblood.
Alistair Petrie as Michael Groff: The former headteacher of Moordale who left in acrimonious and public circumstances, Michael is forced to discover what is life now is and trying to change his ways. Petrie has appeared in Utopia, The Terror, Cloud Atlas, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Mimi Keene as Ruby Matthews: Keene, also known for Eastenders, becomes a bigger part of Sex Education’s cast in season 3. Ruby, the most popular girl in school and leader of the Untouchables, becomes a more prominent figure with a surprising amount of depth.
Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee Gibbs: Maeve’s best friend continues to be a source of comfort, support, and light, while also trying to deal with her own trauma following the sexual assault in season 2. Wood is also appearing in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, and has done a lot of stage work outside Sex Education.
Tanya Reynolds as Lily Iglehart: Lily is another character with more focus in season 3, as the show gives greater attention to her alien fiction, backstory, and relationship with Ola. Reynolds appeared alongside Swindells in 2020’s Emma, and also starred in Sky 1’s Delicious.
Patricia Allison as Ola Nyman: As mentioned, season 3 gives a little more focus to Ola and Lily’s relationship, but it also finds time to touch on Ola’s past, her relationship with Jakob, and what happened to her mother. Allison first appeared on screen as Marguerite in 2018’s Les Misérables, but Sex Education is her breakthrough role.
Mikael Persbrandt as Jakob Nyman: Ola’s father and Jean’s ex-partner, Jakob gets fleshed out more in season 3 as he prepares to become a father once again, and explores the loss that changed him as a person. Persbrandt is perhaps best known for starring in In a Better World, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2011.
Chinenye Ezeudu as Viv Odusanya: Introduced in season 2, Ezeudu is another who is given a bigger part among Sex Education season 3’s cast. This year’s episodes flesh out her character much more, looking at her ambitions and just how far she’ll go to get ahead.
George Robinson as Isaac Goodwin: Isaac is back in season 3, fresh off deleting Otis’ voicemail from Maeve’s phone, but also coming to prove how much he does care for her. Robinson made his debut in Sex Education, and will next be seen in British crime drama Dalgliesh.
Related: Sex Education: Why Everyone’s Wearing Grey Suits In Season 3
Sex Education Season 3’s New Cast & Characters
Jemima Kirke as Headmistress Hope Haddon: One of the biggest additions to Sex Education season 3’s cast is Jemima Kirke, best known for playing Jessa Johansson in HBO’s Girls. Hope is the new headteacher at Moordale, who brings in a raft of changes designed to get the “Sex School” back on track.
Jason Isaacs as Peter Groff: Sex Education viewers should get ready to say hello to Jason Isaacs in season 3. The actor, who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, Georgy Zhukov in The Death of Stalin, and Michael D. Steele in Black Hawk Down, to name but a few of his famous roles, appears here as Peter Groff, the older, more successful, and more unlikable brother of Michael.
Dua Saleh as Cal Bowman: Cal is a new, non-binary student at Moordale in season 3. They frequently clash with Hope over some of the new regime changes, while also striking up a close friendship with Jackson. Saleh is a singer, rapper, and poet who has released the albums Nūr and Rosetta.
Robyn Holdaway as Layla: Another new face in Moordale, Layla is a non-binary student who initially falls more in line with Hope’s demands, but ends up turning to Cal for advice. Holdaway has appeared in Doctors and Strike.
Indra Ové as Anna: Anna is the new foster mother of Maeve’s younger sister, Elsie, after their mum started using again. Ové starred in the short-lived TV show Space Island One, and has had roles in several major movies, such as playing a New Orleans sex worker in Interview With The Vampire, Ms. Black in Resident Evil, and a First Order officer in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Sophie Thompson as Lily’s mum: As Lily struggles with her sense of self, viewers see more of her home life and finally get to meet her mother, played by Thompson (known for Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and Eastenders).
Robert Wilfort as Mark: The head of the school board who comes to announce Moordale is being sold off. Wilfort is best known as Jason in Gavin & Stacey.
Rupert Frazer as Dog Competition Host: Frazer, known for Empire of the Sun and The Bank Job, plays the host/announcer at the dog contest Adam enters.
Related: Sex Education Season 3’s New Character Fixes Its Villain Problem
Sex Education Season 3’s Returning Supporting Cast & Characters
Chaneil Kular as Anwar: Anwar once again appears in Sex Education season 3 as a member of the Untouchables, who is particularly hurt by Moordale’s new school uniforms. Kular has also had recurring roles in Doctors and Black Narcissus.
Simone Ashley as Olivia Hanan: Alongside Anwar yet again is the third member of the Untouchables, Simon, whose support Ruby will need more than ever in season 3. Ashley appeared in Detective Pikachu, and will gain further attention as Kate in Bridgerton season 2.
Anne-Marie Duff as Erin Wiley: Maeve and Elsie’s mum makes a few appearances in Sex Education season 3, though she’s still struggling and none-too-happy with her eldest daughter. Duff has had several prominent TV and film roles, including playing Ma Costa in His Dark Materials, Fiona Gallagher in Shameless, Julia Lennon in Nowhere Boy, and Queen Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen.
Jim Howick as Colin Hendricks: One of everyone’s two favorite Moordale teachers is back again in Sex Education season 3, as science teacher and choir leader Colin tries to do what he can despite the new regime of Hope, while further developing his relationship with Miss Sands. Howick’s other credits include Horrible Histories and Peep Show.
Rakhee Thakrar as Emily Sands: The second of Moordale’s two most well-liked (perhaps their only well-liked) teachers, Emily once again displays great compassion for her students in season 3 and gets closer to Colin too. Thakrar had a regular role in Eastenders, and voiced Bliss in Doctor Who: The Time War by Big Finish.
Sami Outalbali as Rahim: Moordale’s French transfer student and ex-boyfriend of Eric. His credits include The Tuche Family and upcoming movie Novembre.
Samantha Spiro as Maureen Groff: Adam’s mother and the soon-to-be-ex-wife of Michael, Sex Education season 3 allows viewers to learn more about who Maureen is as a person and what her own needs are. Spiro has played Barbara Windsor both on screen and stage, and appeared as Melessa Tarly, Samwell’s mother, in Game of Thrones.
Hannah Waddingham as Sofia Marchetti: Sofia is one of Jackson’s mothers, but is the only one to appear in Sex Education season 3’s cast. Waddingham stars as Rebecca in Ted Lasso, and also appeared in several episodes of Game of Thrones as Septa Unella, aka the “Shame” lady.
Doreene Blackstock as Mrs Effiong: Eric’s mother, with whom he travels to Nigeria in Sex Education season 3. Blackstock’s appeared in several British TV shows, including The Bill, Casualty, and Doctors.
Lisa Palfrey as Cynthia: The own of the caravan park where Maeve lives. Palfrey has appeared in House of America, Pride, and COBRA.
Joe Wilkinson as Jeffrey: Comedian and frequent 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown guest Joe Wilkinson appears among Sex Education season 3’s cast as Jeffrey, Cynthia’s husband.
Chris Jenks as Steve Morley: Aimee’s boyfriend, although their relationship isn’t quite as happy in season 3. Jenks has also been in The Athena and Miracle Workers.
George Somner as Joe: Isaac’s brother and carer. Somber previously appeared in the comedy series Bad Move.
Lino Facioli as Dex: Dex, a member of the quiz team introduced in season 2, appears briefly but memorably in Sex Education season 3’s cast. Facioli is yet another Game of Thrones alum on the show, having played Robin Arryn in the HBO series.
Jojo Macari as Kyle: Aimee’s ex-boyfriend Kyle is back in Sex Education season 3, hilariously seeing an opening for sex advice left by Otis and Maeve. Macari’s other TV roles include The Irregulars and Harlots.
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James is Screen Rant’s Movies Lead Editor, having started out as a writer for the site back in 2019. A Sports Journalism graduate, James quickly realized that supporting Sunderland AFC was painful enough without writing about it, and so decided to talk a load of rubbish about movies and TV instead. Formerly the TV editor at WhatCulture, he has a particular love of Star Wars (The Last Jedi was great), Game of Thrones (season 8 was good), and Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling…never mind) – y’know, all that really niche, nerdy stuff. Spending most of his days editing articles about or writing on movies and shows, James likes to really get away from work and unwind by, er, watching movies and shows. He’s fuelled by pint-sized cups of tea, peanut butter, more tea, and a quiet, constant anger (like the Hulk, only not green, or strong, or big).
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