Joe Wicks Sheds More Light On Decision To Take Eldest Child Out Of School

The Body Coach has opened up about the move, which some parents deemed controversial.
Joe Wicks
Neil Mockford via Getty Images
Joe Wicks

Joe Wicks – the nation’s PE teacher, who helped keep kids active during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns – has revealed more on why he plans to take his eldest daughter out of school for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to The Times, Wicks said of the move: “I just love being with my kids. It’s not a permanent thing, but we want to have another year together.”

The dad, who shares three children with his wife Rosie, plans to make major strides in America in the next year.

It means his eldest child India, five, will be taken out of school. She has two younger siblings – Marley, who is three, and Leni, who is almost a year old.

The fitness guru, known as The Body Coach, said he doesn’t plan to move to America permanently, but does want to try his best to “have an impact there”.

Discussing his motives for pulling his daughter out of school, he continued: “I don’t want to be someone who isn’t present in my children’s life ... what I try and give my children is stability and love, and I want them to know I’m always there for them.”

The celebrity fitness coach has previously been vocal about his own childhood, growing up in a household where his parents were impacted by mental illness. His dad used heroin, while his mum struggled with multiple illnesses at different times, including OCD, anxiety and an eating disorder.

Earlier in July, Wicks explained on social media to his 4.3 million followers that India had had a “great year” in reception (the first year of primary school), “but we have always loved teaching the kids at home and want the freedom to travel more and explore the world”.

According to Birmingham Live, the fitness pro added: “She might go to school next year – we have no idea long term but want to do at least a year of home educating.”

At the time he was met with criticism from some parents, the Independent reported, who branded the decision “wrong” and “selfish”.

Parents in the UK are able to teach their kids at home, either full or part-time – also known as home schooling.

But as part of this, children must receive a full-time education from the age of five. Parents don’t have to follow the national curriculum, however.

Since the pandemic, it appears there’s been a growing appetite among parents for home schooling.

Figures published by the Department for Education suggested that 86,000 children in England were home schooled on one day this year.

And these figures don’t take into account the many ‘ghost children’ who are persistently or severely absent from schools across the UK.

In 2022, Sky News reported that approximately 93,000 students had fallen off school registers since the Covid-19 pandemic started.