School Estate Statistics 2023

Statistics from the 2023 school estates core facts survey


Additional Support Needs (ASN):

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) Scotland Act 2004 (as amended) states that a child or young person has an additional support need where they need additional support in order to benefit from school education.


School capacity is a measure of how many pupils can be taught in a school based on the number and size of teaching spaces available. It is not a measure of the size of a school building – ancillary spaces such as staff rooms and offices, toilets, catering and dining facilities are not included in capacity calculations.

Planning and working capacity are used as different measures of school capacities – see their definitions for more information.

Grant-aided schools (GAS):

Schools that are supported financially directly by the Scottish Government and follow the Curriculum for Excellence but are independent from Local Authorities. Grant-aided schools are not equivalent to schools termed ‘academies’ in some parts of the UK.

Grant-aided special schools (GASS):

These special schools provide for young people with a wide range of ASN. There are seven GASS in Scotland.

Local authority schools:

Schools which are run and financed by the local authority.

Learning Estate Investment Programme (LEIP):

The Learning Estate Investment Programme is funded via a mixture of capital grant and revenue support through the Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) pipeline of investment. The first phase of this programme was announced in 2019.

Planning capacity:

Planning Capacity is a physical, theoretical measure of the total number of pupils which could be accommodated in a school, based on the total number of teaching spaces, the size of those spaces and the maximums for class sizes.

Primary schools:

Children in Scotland usually start primary school between 4 ½ and 5 ½ years old. There are seven stages from primary 1 (P1) to primary 7 (P7). There is no streaming of pupils by ability at primary school and pupils are automatically promoted from one class to the next each year.

Publicly funded schools:

Includes local authority and grant-aided schools.

School condition:

This concerns the state of repair of features or facilities that exist as part of the school fabric and as part of its current design and includes the adequacy and appropriateness of the design, security of the school fabric, contents and occupants and general health and safety requirements.

School suitability:

Suitability is a measure of whether a school is fit for the purpose of delivering the education curriculum. That is whether its design and layout enhance its function and use, whether there is space and scope to accommodate all the pre-school, day-school and after-school demands and services, whether it is 'inclusive' and accessible to those with disabilities, how capable it is of adjustment or adaptation, how able to 'flex' in response to future, sometimes unforeseen changes in the scale and nature of demand and usage, to changes in climate and to changes in ICT and other technology and the ways in which education may be delivered.

Schools for the Future programme (SSF):

The Schools for the Future programme is funded via a mixture of capital grant and revenue support through the Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) pipeline of investment.

Secondary schools:

After primary school pupils attend secondary school for up to six years. There are six stages from secondary 1 (S1) to secondary 6 (S6). Qualifications are usually taken in S4 to S6, starting at age 15-16.

Special schools:

Most children with additional support needs are educated in mainstream schools but some with complex or specific needs are educated in special schools. Specials schools cover primary and secondary education.

Virtual schools:

Virtual schools provide education by using the Internet and other technology to connect pupils and teachers in different geographical locations.

Working capacity:

Working capacity is a more realistic measure of the total number of pupils which can be accommodated in a school in a particular session. It is calculated by adjusting the planning capacity based on the organisational needs of the school that session (e.g. taking into account pupil roll, composite classes, staffing etc.).



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