Schools statistics

A National Statistics publication for Scotland.

This release provides the latest information on pupils, teachers and early learning and childcare, and shows that over the year to 2020 teacher numbers increased by 1,153 to 53,400. Pupil numbers have not increased at the same rate therefore the pupil teacher ratio has decreased to 13.3.

Additional teachers have been recruited in the 2020/21 school year to support the recovery of education following the disruption caused by COVID-19. These additional teachers are likely to be a major contributing factor to the increase in teacher numbers, the reduction in overall PTR and the decrease in average primary class sizes.

In 2020, the overall pupil teacher ratio (PTR) in all publicly funded schools was 13.3, down from 13.6 in 2019. The PTR shows the number of pupils per teacher so gives a measure of the size of the teaching workforce compared with the pupil population.

An increase in the number of teachers in primary schools, combined with a decrease in the number of pupils has resulted in a reduction in PTR to 15.4 (from 15.9 in 2019). In secondary schools the number of pupils grew at a faster rate compared to the number of teachers, meaning the PTR increased to 12.5 (from 12.4 in 2019).

The total full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers based in all sectors (early learning and childcare, primary, secondary, special schools, centrally employed) was 53,400, 1,153 more than 2019.

The average class size for pupils in primary schools was 23.1, down from 23.5 in 2019. This is the lowest average class size since 2012.

There was a decrease in the number of funded registrations for early learning and childcare (ELC) from 96,375 in 2019 to 90,126 in 2020. An estimated 9% of two year olds were registered for funded ELC, a decrease from 11% in 2019. The number of teachers, graduate staff and staff working towards graduate level qualifications in funded ELC was 5,015, an increase of 234 FTE since 2019.


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 and early learning and childcare.

Supplementary tables from the school staff census and the pupil census will be published in March 2021. Additional Early Learning and Childcare Tables were published today.

Further information on school statistics within Scotland is available online.

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards.

Back to top