The education minister says she cannot explain the large rise in ambulance callouts to schools in the island.

Figures released as part of a Freedom of Information request in March revealed there had been a significant increase in call outs in 2022-23 compared to 2018-19.

Ambulances were called to primary or high schools 13 times in the school year of 2022-23 - over double that of any previous year on record.

The figures also revealed emergency services were called for a member of staff, or student, seven times from 2023 to present.

At this week’s House of Keys sitting, Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse asked Education, Sport and Culture Minister Daphne Caine what led to the increase in ambulance call-outs to school premises between 2018 and 2024.

However, Mrs Caine said she was unable to shed light on the reasons for the rise in callouts.

She told the house: ‘With such a small number of callouts compared to the 11,300 pupils we have in the island it is difficult to assume any trends or question the reasons for the rise. Also, due to the small number of callouts, further details could lead to the identification of those involved.’

Mr Moorhouse asked if the police had been involved in any of the callouts and, again, Mrs Caine could not say.

He also asked if there had been any link between the callouts and Covid vaccinations which Mrs Caine was unable to comment on.

The lowest number of callouts was in 2020-21, when only one ambulance was called but that was during the pandemic when schools were closed for large periods.

In 2018-19 there were two callouts, three the following year, just one in 2020-21, six in 2021-22 and then 13 the following year and seven so far this school year.