Education and Skills budgets 2021-2024: FOI release

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

Information requested

In the Education and Skills level four budget lines, there are repeated references to "workforce efficiency savings". For the financial years of 2021/22, 2022/23, 2023/24, and anticipated/as budgeted for 2024/25, please provide the following information;

1) The total headcount of employees covered by the Education and Skills portfolio,

2) The total FTE figure for the Education and Skills portfolio,

3) The workforce costs for the Education and Skills portfolio.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

The data on total headcount and FTE for the Education and Skills portfolio is shared in the attached document.

To confirm, the following directorates currently make up the Education & Skills portfolio:

  • Directorate for Children and Families
  • Directorate for Education Reform
  • Director for Lifelong Learning and Skills
  • Directorate for Learning

The following directorates were previously included within the portfolio:

  • Directorate for Advanced Learning and Science
  • Directorate for Early Learning and Childcare

The headcount and FTE data provided is a breakdown of the Scottish Government Workforce Information Official Statistics which are published quarterly. The most recently published data is as at month end September 2023, and was published in December 2023. It can be found here Scottish
Government workforce information - (

The data provided is taken from information held on the Scottish Government’s HR system. This system contains a variety of information about directly employed staff including: the type of worker they are and their working pattern. Records are also created for contingent workers on the HR system when they are engaged in any capacity for the Scottish Government, however limited information is held in this record since the workers are not Scottish Government employees.

As such data on headcount and FTE is available for directly employed staff, and data on headcount is available for contingent workers. The HR system is an administrative database. As such, it is continually updated when workers join and leave the Scottish Government and personal details change. As with any large-scale administration system, it may be subject to errors with data entry and processing, and short delays in processing changes to the data.

This publication presents a “snapshot” of the data as it appears on the HR system at the end of a quarter. Therefore, there is a possibility that there may be out of date data or errors presented in this publication, as the “snapshot” may be taken at a point before records are updated or corrected.

The workforce costs for the Education and Skills portfolio for 2021/22 and 2022/23 are set out below:



2022-23 £m

2023-24 ABR budget £m

Directorate for Children and Families




Directorate for Early Learning and Childcare Programme




Directorate for Education Reform




Directorate for Learning




Directorate for Lifelong Learning and Skills




Education and Skills Portfolio




The table includes actual expenditure on salaries, national insurance and pensions. Related financial information for 2023-24 has not yet been published, therefore we have included the latest budget information, published through Autumn Budget Revision (ABR) in September 2023. This budget position does not reflect all budget transfers that were applied following ABR, with the final budget position published through Spring Budget Revision (SBR) at the start of February 2024. Budget information is not reported at the level of detail requested by this FOI and therefore includes more than salaries, national insurance and pension costs. Education and Skills - Autumn Budget Revision 2023 to 2024: supporting document - (

The 2024-25 budget has not yet been approved by the Scottish Parliament and funding has not yet been finalised at Directorate level, however Operating costs at a portfolio level are set out in the 2024-25 Scottish Budget document. Therefore, the data requested on the anticipated headcount and FTE for FY 24/25 for Education and Skills cannot be provided at this date.

The Scottish Government Total Operating Cost budget was published as part of the wider 2024-25 Budget on 19th Dec 23. Workforce plans are being developed at a high level to correspond with the budget outturn, and to reflect the Government’s priorities. These controls are operated at a Director General level to allow for the flexibility of deployment of the workforce to respond to events.

annex-scottish-government-operating-costs.pdf (

Scottish Budget: 2024 to 2025 - (

About FOI

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

FOI 202300391363 - Information Released - Headcount and FTE data


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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