The education minister has said the staff shortages in schools have caused problems for cover supervisors.

In the House of Keys sitting on Tuesday, Douglas South MHK Sarah Maltby asked Julie Edge how many cover supervisors there are in each of the Department of Education, Sport and Culture’s secondary schools.

Cover supervisors take on short-term cover for absent teachers.

Ms Edge said: ‘Everyone is aware of the staff shortages we have in schools at present.

‘It may be that the cover supervisors are continuing to do duties longer than they should and we will look into that.’

The minister explained that QEII has two cover supervisors who also have ‘other duties included’, St Ninian’s has two part-time and a job advert out for another, Ballakermeen has six, one of which is part-time, Castle Rushen has four who ‘all have other aspects to their respective job descriptions’, and Ramsey Grammar has one with other duties and is currently interviewing for another one.

Mrs Maltby asked if the ones currently employed at the secondary schools across the island had engaged in extra work due to teacher absences.

Ms Edge said everyone was ‘aware of the staff shortages in secondary schools at present’ and it may be that cover supervisors are doing more than they should be.

This follows a high number of staff absences within secondary schools in recent days.

Many high school year groups have been asked to stay at home throughout this week and last.

St Ninian’s High School said that the situation with ‘unprecedented high rates of staff absence’ were unlikely to improve this week.

Meanwhile, Ramsey Grammar School asked a number of year groups to stay home due to a ‘significant and rising number of staff absences making the normal running of the school difficult’.