In one of the final episodes of the second season of Sex Education, a very serious crime is committed involving a book of notes:

Otis nicks the confidential and personal notes of his mother, Jean Milburn, on various sex ed aspects of a bunch of students at the school and hides it in his locker. Headmaster Groff sees him putting the notebook in the locker and later uses a master key to break into the locker and steal the notebook. He then proceeds to make photocopies of this very sensitive and personal medical information and plaster the walls all over the school with them, in order to discredit Dr Milburn because she’d talked to his wife about their sex life.

Now, the ethical and legal status of the notes themselves are at least somewhat iffy and the original nicking is pretty surely on the wrong side of the law as well, but there can be little doubt that the latter actions by this character are a far worse crime and a very serious breach of confidentiality.

Yet this whole plot line never really goes anywhere further – it results in the owner of the notebook being turned away from the school (arguably fair enough), but the person who committed the most serious crime is never punished for his crime, which – I would imagine – is probably serious enough to result in a prison sentence. (He is later put on administrative probation, but for different reasons.)

This seems rather… unusual. Sex Education isn’t very conventional in its treatment of morality, ethics, and right and wrong, but leaving such a serious criminal offence, carried out with full and malicious intent, completely unpunished still seems to go against the grain of the show’s moral compass.

I’ve tried finding out whether this holds any real significance – perhaps it is intentional for some reason I’ve missed, or perhaps this plot isn’t over and done with yet and more will appear in the third season (which will hopefully be made) – but I haven’t been able to find anything.

Have any writers, actors or people otherwise connected to the production of the show given any hints as to the future of the character in question, or indeed as to why the crime in question went unpunished in the second season? Do we know of any sources that might shed a light on this seeming incongruity with the show’s (and more generally, society’s) moral compass?

  • Why would the headmaster report his own crime? He only did this to expose Jean and get her fired because his wife just divorced from him because of her. Season 3 can also define whether further investigations to the headmaster will be done and if he is going to be charged.
    – CaldeiraG
    Jan 22, 2020 at 15:14
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    @CaldeiraG I wasn’t suggesting that he should report his own crime. The show could easily have found other ways that it could come to light (security cameras, Otis realising that only the headmaster has a master key to the lockers, etc.). If anything is on the table for season 3, of course, we won’t know it yet, since even the actors don’t know yet whether it’s going to happen or not – I was hoping that perhaps this was something they had already thought about and perhaps mentioned in an interview or similar. Jan 22, 2020 at 15:16
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    I understand it: security cameras is unlikely and timeframes are confusing, the school looks like a American school from the 70's yet all people own smartphones. Otis didn't really care about the notebook anymore because his purpose was to check thing of Ola which eventually didn't matter later. I can rewatch the season and tell my thoughts if you wish. Reddit also seems like a good place to ask (more active community).
    – CaldeiraG
    Jan 23, 2020 at 14:41


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