Rise in teacher numbers

Class sizes lowest since 2012.

The total number of full time equivalent teachers has risen to its highest figure since 2008, official statistics confirm.

New figures have revealed that there were 53,400 teachers employed in early learning and childcare, primary, secondary and special schools or centrally employed. This is 1,153 more than the 2019 total (52,247).

Average class size in primary schools fell to their smallest since 2012, down to 23.1 from 23.5 in 2019.

The 2020 pupil teacher ratio for all publicly funded schools was 13.3, an improvement on 2019 when it was 13.6.

The data relates to the annual census of pupils and teachers which took place on 16 September 2020.

Education Secretary John Swinney said:

“I welcome this significant rise in teacher numbers, which is the largest annual increase since equivalent statistics began in 2006.

“The COVID-19 pandemic led us to take action to help pupils catch up with learning having been out of school, and we have invested an additional £80 million to recruit more than 1,400 additional teachers and 200 support staff this year – all of whom are now in place.

“A drop in class sizes is also welcome news as it is a crucial element in our ambition to close the attainment gap between the most and least deprived. As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, our focus will steadfastly remain on delivering equity and excellence.”


Read the Summary statistics for Schools in Scotland 2020.

This is a National Statistics publication covering (i) the annual pupil census, (ii) the annual teacher census and (iii) information on early learning and childcare provision.


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