Chapter 3: School teachers
|Full Time Equivalents (FTE)|
|Local Authority||Primary||Secondary||Special||Centrally employed||Total|
|Argyll and Bute||425||406||8||8||846|
|City of Edinburgh||1,652||1,594||157||114||3,518|
|Dumfries and Galloway||654||664||21||75||1,413|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||150||151||#||11||312|
|Perth and Kinross||687||626||17||16||1,346|
|All local authorities||25,630||24,030||1,886||1,009||52,555|
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%.
|Full Time Equivalents (FTE)|
|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|
|Dumfries and Galloway||1,481||1,479||1,466||1,470||1,436||1,436||1,413|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||323||324||321||327||327||313||312|
|Perth and Kinross||1,337||1,337||1,329||1,329||1,346||1,329||1,346|
|All local authorities||49,368||49,538||49,858||50,464||51,012||51,327||52,555|
(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.
|Pupils per teacher|
|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|
|Dumfries and Galloway||12.7||12.7||12.7||12.8||13.1||13.1||13.2|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||10.4||10.3||10.5||10.3||10.2||10.6||10.7|
|Perth and Kinross||13.3||13.3||13.6||13.5||13.3||13.6||13.5|
|All local authorities||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.
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%).
|Percentage of Full Time Equivalents (FTE)|
|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|
|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|
|Post employment type|
|Teacher Induction Scheme||7||6||0||0||6|
|Depute head teacher||6||5||7||2||5|
|Teacher or chartered||81||72||78||85||77|
|All - percentage female||89||64||77||83||77|
|Mode of working (2)|
(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.
|Percentage of headcount|
|TIS probationer cohort|
|All teaching post types’||80||86||87||88||87||84||85|
teachers in cohort
(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.
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.