'Sex Education' 's Emma Mackey Has Bid 'a Happy Goodbye' to Maeve, Doesn't Expect to Return to Netflix Show

Five additional actors have announced their departure from the British series in the last year, though stars Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson are expected to stay on

Sex Education Season 3
Photo: Netflix

Another core star is saying goodbye to Netflix's Sex Education.

Emma Mackey soft-launched the news in the press room at the 2023 BAFTA Awards on Sunday night, sharing that she believes her time on the show has come to an end.

"[Will I be back for] season 5 or 6? Bloody hell, I've just finished the fourth one, love — last week!" said the 27-year-old actress, who plays the show's teen outsider–turned–peer sex advisor Maeve Wiley. "No, I don't think so. I think, yeah, I've said goodbye to Maeve. It's a happy goodbye."

Reps for Netflix and Mackey, who was named the BAFTAs' EE Rising Star Award this weekend, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for confirmation.

Mackey previously told the Radio Times before season 4 began filming late last year that she was not in the series "as consistently" as previous years.

"It feels very familiar!" she said. "And it's a bit more sporadic because we have more characters. So there's… I'm not in it as consistently."

Sex Education Season 3
Sam Taylor/NETFLIX

Mackey's exit comes on the heels of similar announcements by costars Patricia Allison (Ola), Tanya Reynolds (Lily), Rakhee Thakrar (Ms. Sands) and Simone Ashley (who played Olivia but is committed to Bridgerton for the foreseeable future after headlining season 2 alongside Jonathan Bailey). All four women revealed last year that they would not be returning for season 4.

Reynolds, 31, told the Radio Times in July: "It's just the natural progression of these shows — when you have such big ensemble casts and so many characters, I think you have to let a few older characters go to make way for newer ones, which is absolutely the right thing, the way it should happen."

Ncuti Gatwa, Asa Butterfield, and Emma Mackey visit BuzzFeed's "AM To DM" on January 21, 2020
Manny Carabel/Getty

Mackey's costar Ncuti Gatwa did sign on for season 4 but is likewise not expected to return for season 5 since he was tapped as the new lead of Doctor Who, stepping in for most recent Doctor Jodie Whittaker.

Gatwa, 30, recently said goodbye to Sex Education will an Instagram post from his final day on set.

"Last day. Last time," he wrote on Feb. 8 after he wrapped filming for his character Eric. "Bye bubs, thank you for all the lessons and for all the strength."

Sex Education's first family, played by Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson, is expected to carry on the show's storyline.

Schitt's Creek creator and star Dan Levy will join them in season 4, which does not yet have a release date.

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Seasons 1–3 of Sex Education can be streamed in full on Netflix.

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