Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland 2023

An accredited official statistics publication for Scotland.

This release provides the latest information on pupils (including attendance and exclusions), teachers and the early learning and childcare (ELC) sector.

The 2023 edition of Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland shows that teacher numbers decreased by 160 full-time equivalents (FTE) to 54,033 FTE, compared to the previous year. Pupil numbers during this time also decreased by 346. However, these changes were relatively small so the pupil teacher ratio (PTR), which gives a measure of the size of the teaching workforce relative to the pupil population, remained at 13.2.

Teacher numbers increased in the secondary sector and for centrally employed but the combined decreases in primary, special and ELC sectors were large enough to result in a reduction in teacher FTE overall.

The proportion of Teacher Induction Scheme probationers that secured a (permanent or temporary) teaching post in a Scottish school in the year following their probation increased slightly to 71% from 70% for the previous 2021/22 cohort. This increase follows a drop last year from 80% to 70%.

The overall average class size in primary schools was 23.2, down from 23.3 in 2022.

The attendance rate in 2022/23 was 90.2% which is a decrease from 92.0% in 2020/21 and the lowest rate since comparable figures began in 2003/04. There were 11,676 cases of exclusion in 2022/23. This is 40% higher than the COVID-19 affected 2020/21 school year but 22% lower than 2018/19.

The number of teachers, graduate staff and staff working towards graduate level qualifications related to early years delivering funded ELC reached 5,906 FTE in 2023 – the highest figure since the Scottish Government started collecting graduate data in the ELC census in 2017 – and an increase of 230 FTE from 2022.

Child registrations for funded ELC decreased this year to 92,182, down from 92,615 in 2022. The estimated uptake rate for ages three and four decreased from 99% in 2022 to 97% in 2023. The proportion of two year-olds registered for funded ELC also decreased slightly from 14% in 2022 to 13% this year. This is estimated to be around 52% of those eligible for funded ELC at age two. The percentage of children eligible to defer entry to primary one who did so increased from 27% in 2022 to 33% in 2023.


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 (including attendance and exclusions), teachers and early learning and childcare.

Supplementary tables from the school staff census and the pupil census will be published in March 2024.

Additional Early Learning and Childcare Tables were published today.

A dashboard with further breakdowns of post-probationer teacher statistics was published today.

Further information on school statistics within Scotland is available online.

National Statistics are accredited official statistics and are produced in accordance with professional standards.


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