The upcoming season of Netflix‘s Sex Education is facing some changes, largely on the cast front. Rakhee Thakrar has become the latest person to exit the show ahead of Season 4. Thakrar exits the show alongside Tanya Reynolds who played Lily, Patricia Allison who starred as Ola and Simone Ashley also exited the show due to commitments to Bridgerton.
In the series, Thakrar played Emily Sands, an English teacher at Moordale Secondary School. Miss Sands was a recurring character who first helped Maeve (Emma Mackey) embrace her strengths, pushing her towards new academic pursuits that would help her down the line. As the series continued, Miss Sands also began to push underachieving student Adam (Connor Swindells) to invest more in his studies to bring his grades up. Romantically, Miss Sands was involved (largely unbenkownst to everyone) with fellow Moordale teacher Colin Hendricks (Jim Howick). During her time on the show, Miss Sands was a generally caring teacher. Though primarily illustrated through Maeve and Adam, it was clear she cared about her students and her job.
Sex Education first premiered in 2019 and primarily focused on Otis (Asa Butterfield), an awkward teenager on many fronts, whose mother (Gillian Anderson) is a sex therapist. When Otis inadvertently helps one of peers with sex-related problems, he decides to begin an underground sex therapy clinic with another student, Maeve. By Season 3, the clinic has been co-opted by someone else who hands out bogus advice. The season also introduced a new head teacher, Hope (Jemima Kirke), who balked at the state of Moordale and set out to “improve” the school’s image by enacting new policies. At the season’s end, the students rebelled against Hope, but it didn’t quite go as planned. Soon, Hope is fired and developers purchase Moordale, which means all the students need to find a new school.
Though we already know the departing cast comes partially as a creative decision, specifics remain under wraps. Thakrar confirms as much, mentioning that she can’t divulge why Miss Sands won’t appear in Season 4. About her time on the show, she said, “I’m so proud of the show and grateful to have been part of something so important. There is nothing bad about Sex Education.”
Production is scheduled to begin on Season 4 sometime this summer. Cast still expected to return are Butterfield, Anderson, Mackey, Swindells, Ncuti Gatwa, Aimee Lou Wood, Kedar Williams-Stirling, and Alistair Petrie. Additional cast throughout the show includes Mikael Persbrandt, Chaneil Kular, Mimi Keene, Samantha Spiro, Chinenye Ezeudu, Dua Saleh, and George Robinson, among others.
Sex Education seasons 1-3 are streaming now on Netflix.