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Schools in Scotland

Published: 9 Dec 2015 09:30
Part of:
Education, Statistics

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland

There has been an increase in total pupils, teacher numbers have stayed broadly similar to last year, and the pupil teacher ratio has remained the same as in 2014. Meanwhile in early learning and childcare, access to a GTCS registered teacher has decreased for 3 and 4 year olds.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published results of the Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland. These statistics provide the latest data on early learning and childcare, pupils, teachers, school estates and attendance, absence and exclusions.

In 2015, the pupil teacher ratio (PTR) in all publicly funded schools has remained the same as in 2014 (13.7). PTRs give a measure of the size of the workforce compared with the pupil population. In primary schools the PTR was 16.7 (an improvement on 2014 on when it was 16.8). In secondary schools the PTR was the same as in 2014 (12.2).

The total full-time equivalent (FTE) number of teachers based in early learning and childcare, primary, secondary and special schools, or centrally employed, was 50,717, which is 3.8 FTE fewer than the 2014 figure of 50,720.

The percentage of teachers from the Probationer Induction Scheme in permanent or temporary employment in publicly funded schools in the following census has increased from 80 per cent the previous year to 86 per cent of teachers in September 2015.

In September 2015, 81.6 per cent of 3 and 4 year old children attending centres had access to a GTCS registered teacher during census week, down from 85.0 per cent the previous year.

The average class size for pupils in the first three years of primary (P1 to P3) has remained at a similar level to 2014 (23.3). The percentage of these pupils who were in class sizes of 18 or fewer dropped slightly from 12.9 per cent in 2014 to 12.2 per cent in 2015.

The proportion of schools reported as being in good or satisfactory condition has increased from 61 per cent in April 2007 to 84 per cent in April 2015. The number of pupils educated in poor or bad condition schools has decreased from 256,794 (37 per cent of pupils) in April 2007 to 102,664 (15 per cent of pupils) in April 2015.

Absence (authorised and unauthorised) across all sectors was 6.3 per cent in 2014/15, a slight decrease from 6.4 per cent recorded in 2012/13. Unauthorised absence was 2.0 per cent in 2014/15, up from 1.8 per cent in 2012/13.

During 2014/15 there were 18,430 cases of exclusion from local authority schools in Scotland, a decrease of 16 per cent from 2012/13 (21,955 exclusions).

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at

This publication brings together a wide range of information on school education and early learning and childcare provision in Scotland and covers: pupils, teachers, children in early learning and childcare, attendance and absence, exclusions, and school buildings.

Further information on school statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: