Denominational schools in Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/01415
Date received: 19 May 2018
Date responded: 19 June 2018

Information requested

1. How many "faith schools" there are in Scotland ?

2. How many of these are fully funded by the Scottish Government or UK State?

3. How many are part funded by Scottish Government or UK State?

4. How many are within 3 miles of other non-faith schools ?

5. Clarification on why we the Government funds these ?


The answer to your questions are:

1. There are 378 denominational schools in Scotland.

2. Of these, 367 are local authority schools (fully funded by government) the remaining 11 are independent (funded by private means).

3. There are no part funded denominational schools in Scotland.

4. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. The reasons why we don't have the information are explained below.

5. Denominational or faith schools have been part of the state sector since the Education (Scotland) Act 1918 allowed such schools, which until then had been independent schools, to transfer to local authority control. In accordance with Section 17 of the 1980 Act, local authorities may establish a denominational school for any denomination or faith if they are satisfied that such a school is required, either in response to representations made to them by any church or denominational body acting on behalf of parents, or on their own initiative.

The Scottish Government supports authorities in this choice and openly welcomes the positive contribution that denominational education can make to Scottish education in ensuring successful learners, effective contributors, responsible citizens and confident individuals.

Modern Scotland is a multi-faith and multi-cultural society. The Scottish Government's aim is that Scotland should be a place where young people of all faiths can follow their religion and achieve their potential. The Scottish Government works hard to protect our common values, including maintaining and advancing freedom of thought, conscience and religion. We value the significant contribution that all faith communities make to public life in Scotland, supporting the most vulnerable people in our society and developing community cohesion.

Reasons for not providing information

The Scottish Government does not have the information.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for, however a complete list of schools in Scotland (including addresses and denomination status) is available from the Scottish Government website:

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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