Teacher numbers increase

DFM: Scottish Government investment improving education.

The number of teachers in Scotland has increased by 506 as a result of the Scottish Government’s direct investment in schools through the Attainment Scotland Fund, new statistics have revealed.

The figures show that money provided to headteachers to spend at their discretion on closing the attainment gap funded 506 additional teachers in 2017, on top of the 160 funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund in 2016.

As a result, the total number of teachers in Scotland has risen by 543 compared to last year.

The figures come as part of a wealth of data published by the Scottish Government which, for 2017, show:

  • 543 more teachers than last year – including 506 additional teachers directly funded by the Scottish Government’s Attainment Scotland Fund
  • a record proportion of probationer teachers going straight into jobs in Scottish schools
  • average class sizes in primary school the same as last year
  • substantially fewer P1 children taught in classes of 26 or more than a decade ago (16,845 in 2006, compared to 631 in 2017)
  • most children are achieving the expected Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) level for their stage, based on teacher professional judgement
  • around 90% of children in S3 have achieved the minimum attainment level expected of them, known as CfE Level 3, or bettera record 703 school buildings in the top condition category of ‘good’ and the highest ever proportion of pupils taught in buildings rated ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’ (87% in 2017 compared to 61% in 2007)
  • near universal uptake of early learning and childcare for eligible three and four-year-olds, and an increase in the proportion of two-year-old registrations
  • the vast majority (79-99%) of staff in schools reported pupils as being generally well behaved in lessons in 2016

Welcoming the figures, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Education is this government’s number one priority and we are investing heavily to ensure every child in Scotland has an equal chance to realise their full potential.

“This investment is improving education: we have more teachers in Scottish classrooms, better quality school buildings and the vast majority of children in S3 achieving the minimum attainment level expected of them or better.

“And, we can now see that our decision to give headteachers more money and more power to decide for themselves how to close the attainment gap is paying off. Hundreds of additional teachers are now in Scottish classrooms, benefiting pupils the length and breadth of Scotland, as a result of that decision. That’s good news for teachers, parents and pupils.

“I recognise the scale of the challenge involved in closing the poverty-related attainment gap. That is why we are doubling free early learning and childcare to give every child the best start in life and reforming education, backed by £750 million over the course of this Parliament through the Attainment Scotland Fund.

“We have also set out a robust package of indicators to measure progress closing the attainment gap and are publishing more data than ever on children’s progress under Curriculum for Excellence.”


Data published by the Scottish Government includes:


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