Publication - Statistics

Schools in Scotland - summary statistics: 2020

Headline statistics from the annual pupil and school staff censuses and early learning and childcare provision.

Schools in Scotland - summary statistics: 2020
Chapter 3: School teachers

Chapter 3: School teachers

Table 3.1: Teachers in Scotland by sector and local authority, 2020
Full Time Equivalents (FTE)
Local Authority Primary Secondary Special Centrally employed Total
Aberdeen City 891 751 36 48 1,725
Aberdeenshire 1,403 1,234 46 37 2,720
Angus 596 575 # 25 1,197
Argyll and Bute 425 406 8 8 846
City of Edinburgh 1,652 1,594 157 114 3,518
Clackmannanshire 291 233 27 3 554
Dumfries and Galloway 654 664 21 75 1,413
Dundee City 656 593 59 31 1,340
East Ayrshire 593 545 77 18 1,233
East Dunbartonshire 589 686 51 40 1,366
East Lothian 496 485 # 27 1,008
East Renfrewshire 620 665 35 2 1,322
Falkirk 804 804 72 7 1,688
Fife 1,862 1,592 91 82 3,627
Glasgow City 2,738 2,261 307 140 5,446
Highland 1,046 1,145 43 50 2,284
Inverclyde 344 362 43 2 751
Midlothian 492 434 27 31 985
Moray 433 418 # 21 873
Na h-Eileanan Siar 150 151 # 11 312
North Ayrshire 688 634 44 45 1,412
North Lanarkshire 1,807 1,641 232 63 3,742
Orkney Islands 114 126 # 7 247
Perth and Kinross 687 626 17 16 1,346
Renfrewshire 856 811 90 21 1,778
Scottish Borders 498 523 39 5 1,065
Shetland Islands 162 154 # 13 329
South Ayrshire 523 514 28 35 1,101
South Lanarkshire 1,661 1,628 150 0 3,438
Stirling 436 480 21 17 954
West Dunbartonshire 465 436 49 14 964
West Lothian 997 855 119 0 1,971
All local authorities 25,630 24,030 1,886 1,009 52,555
Grant aided 21 48 48 # 117
Scotland 25,651 24,077 1,934 1,009 52,672

Table 3.2 shows that total teacher numbers (primary, secondary, special and centrally employed) rose in each year from 2014 to 2020. The number of teachers increased by 1,224 between 2019 and 2020, the biggest recorded annual increase since 1975. (Statistics pre-2014 are available from the supplementary statistics and historical time series).

Additional teachers have been recruited in the 2020/21 school year to support the recovery of education following the disruption caused by COVID-19. These additional teachers are likely to be a major contributing factor to the increase in teacher numbers, reduction in overall PTR, decrease in average primary class sizes, increase in proportion of teachers on temporary posts and the overall proportion of the 2019/20 cohort of Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) probationers in teaching posts.

Further information on COVID-19 Education Recovery grant funded teachers, and on teachers funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund, can be found in the background notes.

Although the number of teachers has increased since 2019, this was not the case for each local authority. In 27 local authorities the number of teachers increased, with the largest increase of 8% seen in East Dunbartonshire; followed by Clackmannanshire and Renfrewshire, with an increase of 6%. The other five local authorities saw small decreases in teachers this year, of up to 2%.

Table 3.2: Teachers (all sectors excluding ELC) (1)
Full Time Equivalents (FTE)
Local Authority 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Aberdeen City 1,623 1,632 1,603 1,624 1,636 1,675 1,725
Aberdeenshire 2,593 2,650 2,655 2,675 2,650 2,696 2,720
Angus 1,140 1,136 1,125 1,133 1,160 1,172 1,197
Argyll and Bute 866 844 841 825 861 834 846
City of Edinburgh 3,159 3,193 3,213 3,281 3,346 3,452 3,518
Clackmannanshire 495 490 528 513 512 520 554
Dumfries and Galloway 1,481 1,479 1,466 1,470 1,436 1,436 1,413
Dundee City 1,372 1,375 1,367 1,330 1,321 1,316 1,340
East Ayrshire 1,139 1,151 1,149 1,189 1,185 1,205 1,233
East Dunbartonshire 1,191 1,204 1,217 1,245 1,248 1,269 1,366
East Lothian 902 920 913 935 960 973 1,008
East Renfrewshire 1,201 1,213 1,227 1,265 1,277 1,306 1,322
Falkirk 1,578 1,581 1,605 1,620 1,634 1,629 1,688
Fife 3,469 3,476 3,494 3,498 3,503 3,530 3,627
Glasgow City 4,803 4,779 4,869 5,020 5,263 5,352 5,446
Highland 2,331 2,357 2,355 2,365 2,388 2,300 2,284
Inverclyde 725 734 735 738 745 730 751
Midlothian 847 866 873 892 930 941 985
Moray 881 874 848 856 868 866 873
Na h-Eileanan Siar 323 324 321 327 327 313 312
North Ayrshire 1,325 1,332 1,371 1,396 1,393 1,376 1,412
North Lanarkshire 3,452 3,406 3,474 3,502 3,545 3,590 3,742
Orkney Islands 254 255 260 253 250 251 247
Perth and Kinross 1,337 1,337 1,329 1,329 1,346 1,329 1,346
Renfrewshire 1,576 1,596 1,633 1,656 1,676 1,674 1,778
Scottish Borders 1,063 1,049 1,052 1,055 1,070 1,038 1,065
Shetland Islands 322 323 318 323 322 320 329
South Ayrshire 1,062 1,063 1,043 1,056 1,048 1,065 1,101
South Lanarkshire 3,147 3,176 3,202 3,282 3,298 3,341 3,438
Stirling 932 921 942 925 934 938 954
West Dunbartonshire 911 921 928 961 956 980 964
West Lothian 1,868 1,880 1,899 1,924 1,924 1,909 1,971
All local authorities 49,368 49,538 49,858 50,464 51,012 51,327 52,555
Grant aided 153 141 127 127 126 122 117
Scotland 49,521 49,679 49,985 50,592 51,138 51,449 52,672

(1) Includes centrally employed teachers.

Table 3.3 shows pupil teacher ratios (PTRs) which give a measure of the size of the teaching workforce relative to the pupil population. The national PTR had remained stable at 13.6 between 2017 and 2019. In 2020, the PTR decreased to 13.3, the lowest national PTR since 2009. (Statistics pre-2014 are available from the supplementary statistics and historical time series).

Across Scotland, 26 local authorities have decreased or maintained their PTR from 2019. Since 2014, Clackmannanshire and Renfrewshire have had the largest decrease in PTR at 1.3. The largest increases in PTR since 2014 were in Orkney Islands and Dundee City at 0.8, however Orkney Islands’ current PTR still remains below the national average.

Table 3.3: Pupil teacher ratio ( PTR) (all sectors excluding ELC) (1)
Pupils per teacher
Local Authority 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Aberdeen City 13.6 13.6 14.0 14.0 14.1 13.8 13.7
Aberdeenshire 13.5 13.3 13.4 13.3 13.5 13.3 13.4
Angus 13.3 13.2 13.3 13.3 13.1 13.0 12.8
Argyll and Bute 12.2 12.4 12.3 12.5 12.0 12.2 12.0
City of Edinburgh 14.9 14.9 15.1 15.1 15.1 14.9 14.8
Clackmannanshire 13.3 13.4 12.5 12.9 13.0 12.8 12.0
Dumfries and Galloway 12.7 12.7 12.7 12.8 13.1 13.1 13.2
Dundee City 12.9 13.0 13.2 13.7 13.8 13.9 13.7
East Ayrshire 14.0 13.9 13.9 13.3 13.5 13.4 13.2
East Dunbartonshire 13.6 13.6 13.5 13.4 13.6 13.5 12.7
East Lothian 15.2 15.1 15.4 15.2 15.1 15.1 14.8
East Renfrewshire 13.7 13.7 13.7 13.5 13.5 13.2 13.2
Falkirk 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.4 13.5 13.0
Fife 14.0 14.0 14.1 14.1 14.2 14.2 13.9
Glasgow City 13.6 13.8 13.8 13.5 13.1 13.0 12.9
Highland 13.2 13.1 13.1 13.0 12.9 13.5 13.5
Inverclyde 13.8 13.5 13.5 13.4 13.2 13.6 13.1
Midlothian 14.2 14.2 14.2 14.2 13.8 14.0 13.7
Moray 13.7 13.7 14.1 13.9 13.7 13.8 13.9
Na h-Eileanan Siar 10.4 10.3 10.5 10.3 10.2 10.6 10.7
North Ayrshire 13.7 13.6 13.3 13.1 13.1 13.1 12.8
North Lanarkshire 14.2 14.4 14.1 14.0 13.8 13.7 13.2
Orkney Islands 10.5 10.5 10.4 10.8 11.1 11.1 11.3
Perth and Kinross 13.3 13.3 13.6 13.5 13.3 13.6 13.5
Renfrewshire 14.7 14.6 14.3 14.2 14.1 14.2 13.4
Scottish Borders 13.7 13.8 13.8 13.8 13.6 14.0 13.6
Shetland Islands 10.0 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.0
South Ayrshire 13.2 13.2 13.4 13.3 13.3 13.2 13.0
South Lanarkshire 13.7 13.7 13.7 13.4 13.4 13.4 13.1
Stirling 13.2 13.4 13.2 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.4
West Dunbartonshire 13.6 13.5 13.4 13.1 13.1 12.8 13.0
West Lothian 14.1 14.1 14.1 14.0 14.1 14.3 13.9
All local authorities 13.7 13.7 13.7 13.6 13.6 13.6 13.3
Grant aided(2) 8.1 8.6 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.6 10.0
Scotland 13.7 13.7 13.7 13.6 13.6 13.6 13.3

(1) Includes centrally employed teachers.

(2) The pupil teacher ratio for grant aided schools in 2011-2016 was amended in October 2017. See background notes for details.

One of the most important uses of the data collected in the school staff census is in modelling future changes in the workforce to provide guidance on the number of new teachers to train. Chart 1 shows that the age profile of teachers has changed much over the past 10 years. The prominent peak of teachers aged in their fifties, as seen in 2010, no longer exists. In 2020, teacher numbers were highest between the ages of 25 and 41.

The average (mean) age of primary, secondary and special school teachers was 40 in 2020, compared to 43 in 2010, so teachers were, on average, younger in 2020 than in 2010.

Chart 1: Age profile of teachers (excluding ELC)
Line chart comparing the age profile of teachers in 2010 and 2020 (excludes ELC teachers)

Table 3.4 shows that there are many more female teachers than male. In both primary and secondary sectors the proportion of teachers who were female fell at each level of seniority. In primary schools, 89% of teachers at all grades were female compared to 84% of head teachers. In secondary schools 64% of teachers at all grades were female compared to 42% of head teachers. However the rates were higher in special schools, where 77% of teachers at all grades were female compared to 81% of head teachers.

Teaching posts were classified into three employment types for the purposes of the school staff census: Permanent, Temporary and Teacher Induction Scheme. Teachers may be employed on a permanent contract but be recorded in the staff census as temporary if they are working in a post classified as a temporary employment type, for example while covering a vacancy. The proportion of teachers in temporary posts was 12% (compared with 11% last year). This increase in temporary posts was seen across all school types. Further details on the recording of employment types is included in the background notes.

In 2020, the percentage of teachers working part-time, as a proportion of all FTE, was 17%. There was a higher rate amongst females (20%) than males (7%).

Table 3.4: Teacher characteristics
Percentage of Full Time Equivalents (FTE)
Characteristic School Type Total
Primary Secondary Special Centrally Employed
Sex
Female 89 64 77 83 77
Male 11 36 23 17 23
Age (years)
Under 25 7 5 1 1 6
25 to 34 32 29 17 10 29
35 to 44 28 28 32 25 28
45 to 54 23 23 31 32 23
55 or over 11 15 19 32 13
Average Age 39 41 45 48 40
Ethnicity(1)
White - Scottish 69 62 65 54 65
White - other British 22 25 23 26 24
White - other 2 4 5 5 3
Minority ethnic group 1 2 2 5 2
Not known 3 4 3 7 4
Not disclosed 2 3 2 3 2
Post employment type
Permanent 79 85 86 84 82
Temporary 14 10 14 16 12
Teacher Induction Scheme 7 6 0 0 6
Grade
Head teacher 7 1 5 3 4
Percentage female 84 42 81 77 77
Depute head teacher 6 5 7 2 5
Percentage female 87 58 76 86 74
Principal teacher 7 22 11 10 14
Percentage female 87 63 73 78 69
Teacher or chartered 81 72 78 85 77
Percentage female 90 66 77 84 79
All - percentage female 89 64 77 83 77
Mode of working (2)
Full-time 80 87 80 69 83
Percentage female 88 61 74 80 75
Part-time 20 13 20 31 17
Percentage female 95 84 87 90 91

(1) More information on the ethnicity categories can be found in the Ethnicity section in the background notes.

(2) The mode of working is the percentage of FTE by working pattern in a school sector at a particular grade. See background notes for more details.

Teachers provisionally registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) (for example those that have recently completed their initial teacher education) are required to complete a period of probation before becoming eligible for full registration. Probation can be completed through either the one year full time Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) or a flexible route.

Table 3.5 shows the percentage of previous TIS probationers who were in teaching posts in a publicly funded school in Scotland in the year following their probation. The percentage of teachers in such employment in the first year following probation increased from 80% for the 2013/14 cohort to 88% for the 2016/17 cohort. That percentage decreased to 84% for the 2018/19 cohort, before rising slightly for the most recent cohort to 85%. Teachers not in a post in a publicly funded school may be teaching elsewhere (including abroad or in the independent sector), in non-teaching employment or unemployed.

The proportion of TIS probationer cohort in a full-time permanent post at the time of the following year’s census increased between 2013/14 and 2016/17, however it has decreased for the last three years. For the 2019/20 cohort it was 38%, down from 48% for the previous cohort. A higher proportion of the TIS probationer cohort are in full-time temporary post at the time of the following year’s census, rising from 27% in 2015/16 to 42% in 2019/20.

Table 3.5: Teacher Induction Scheme post-probationers teaching in the year following their probation
Percentage of headcount
TIS probationer cohort
2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
Full-time permanent 39 45 55 57 55 48 38
Full-time temporary 33 35 27 28 27 30 42
Part-time permanent 2 2 2 1 2 2 1
Part-time temporary 6 4 2 2 3 5 3
Other(1) 20 14 13 12 13 16 15
All teaching post types’ 80 86 87 88 87 84 85
Headcount of
teachers in cohort
2,215 2,448 2,524 2,630 2,852 2,836 3,076

(1) The “Other” category includes those teaching elsewhere, including in the independent sector, those who have found supply work, and those who are unemployed or who have left teaching, although this detail is not included in the census data.

Table 3.6 shows the percentage of TIS probationers in teaching posts up to six years following their probation. Since the 2014/15 TIS probationer cohort there has been a trend for the employment rate to reduce in each year after the first year following probation. For example, 86% of the 2014/15 cohort were in a teaching post in a publicly funded school in their first year after probation but this reduced to 79% by 2019. This trend has not continued into 2020 with the employment rate for the 2018/19 TIS cohort increasing from 84% in 2019 to 85% in 2020.

Table 3.6: Long-term employment of Teacher Induction Scheme probationers
Percentage headcount
Sep-14 Sep-15 Sep-16 Sep-17 Sep-18 Sep-19 Sep-20
2013/14 cohort 80 81 79 78 77 76 75
2014/15 cohort 86 83 82 80 79 79
2015/16 cohort 87 84 83 81 80
2016/17 cohort 88 85 83 83
2017/18 cohort 87 84 84
2018/19 cohort 84 85
2019/20 cohort 85

14.0% of P1-P3 pupils were taught in classes of 18 or fewer compared to 12.3% in 2019.

23.1 Average class size for pupils in primary school – this has decreased from 23.5 in 2019.


Contact

Email: school.stats@gov.scot