Years 9 and 10 at Ballakermeen are being asked to work from home for the rest of the week.

Headteacher Adrienne Burnett said this is due to a rise in staff absences.

Writing to parents, she said: ‘It is with regret that I have to inform you that Years 9 and 10 will be required to remain at home for the rest of the week, from Wednesday 16th – Friday 18th March. We have 23 teachers absent, plus a number of cover supervisors and I cannot see attendance rates improving quickly. There is also a lack of supply teachers available.

‘Please be assured that this decision has not been taken lightly; we have tried to do everything to avoid this scenario, and despite high levels of staff absence for much of this term, we have coped, with no year groups being asked to remain at home since the second week of January. Where possible, staff will be informing the students of the work that they should be completing between now and the end of the week, but with almost 20% of the teaching workforce absent, this will not be possible in all cases.’

All other students will continue in school as normal.