Schools in Scotland and CfE Achievement

Published: 11 Dec 2018 09:30
Part of:

National and Official (Experimental - Data under development) Statistics Publications for Scotland.

An increase in teacher numbers of 447 and a rise in pupils of 4,611 for 2018 has meant that the overall pupil teacher ratio has remained at 13.6. Primary class sizes have also remained broadly stable. Meanwhile new data based on teacher judgement of pupils Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels shows that between 72% and 87% of pupils in primary schools achieved the relevant CfE level in aspects of literacy and numeracy.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published two releases on schools and education in Scotland.

Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland (National Statistics) provides the latest information on early learning and childcare, pupils, teachers and school estates.

In 2018, the pupil teacher ratio (PTR) in all publicly funded schools was 13.6, the same as the previous year. The PTR excluding teachers funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund was 13.8, also the same as the previous year. The PTR gives a measure of the size of the teaching workforce compared with the pupil population.

The total full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers based in early learning and childcare, primary, secondary and special schools, or centrally employed, was 51,959, which is 447 FTE more than 2017 (962 FTE were funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund).

The figures suggest near universal uptake of funded early learning and childcare for three and four year olds, as in the previous year; and there was an increase in the number of two year old registrations from 5,363 in 2017 to 5,701 in 2018.

The average class size for pupils in primary was 23.5, the same as the previous year. The percentage of these pupils who were in class sizes of 18 or fewer decreased slightly from 12.2% in 2017 to 12.1% in 2018.

The proportion of schools reported as being in good or satisfactory condition was 87% in April 2018, up from 86% the previous April.

Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Levels 2017-18 (Experimental Statistics) describes the achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels for pupils in P1, P4, P7 and S3 in reading, writing, listening & talking and numeracy. It reports on the proportion of pupils who have achieved the expected CfE level relevant to their stage, based on teacher professional judgements. Achievement of CfE Level data continue to be badged Experimental Statistics; caution should be applied when making comparisons to previous Achievement of CfE Level results at a national level.

The proportion of pupils achieving the CfE level relevant for their stage is slightly higher in P1 than the later primary stages. For example, in reading, 81% of P1 pupils achieved Early Level, 77% of P4 pupils achieved First Level and 79% of P7 pupils achieved Second Level.

The proportion of S3 pupils achieving CfE Third Level or better is between 89% and 91% for each organiser (i.e. reading, writing, listening and talking, and numeracy).

For each organiser, a higher proportion of pupils living in the least deprived areas achieve the CfE level relevant to their stage compared to pupils living in the most deprived areas (i.e. there is a deprivation 'gap') - for example the gap between pupils from the 20% most deprived areas and those from the 20% least deprived areas for reading at P7 was 18 percentage points.

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


Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland brings together a wide range of information on school education and early learning and childcare provision in Scotland and covers: pupils, teachers, early learning and childcare, and school estates.

Supplementary tables from the school staff census and the pupil census will be published in March 2019. Additional Early Learning and Childcare Tables were published today.

Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Levels contains achievement data based on all pupils in publicly funded Primary 1, Primary 4, Primary 7 and Secondary 3 classes and for all pupils based in special schools/units.

Scotland's Chief Statistician is also publishing school level data on Achievement of CfE Levels.

For primary schools, the published results are for P1, P4 and P7 stages. For secondary schools, the published results are based on achievement of CfE Third Level or better.  They therefore represent the proportion of S3 pupils in the school who have achieved 'Third Level or better'.

All school level results will be presented in ten per cent bandings (i.e. under 10%, 10% - under 20% etc.).  To prevent potential disclosure of information relating to individual pupils within schools, any schools in which the relevant cohort contains 20 or fewer pupils will be suppressed. 

Further information on school statistics within Scotland is available online.

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards.