Chapter 4: Classes and pupils
Table 4.1 shows average class sizes for each stage in primary school alongside the overall primary school average. In 2020 the overall average for primary has decreased from 23.5 in 2019 to 23.1. This is the smallest average class size since 2012 when the average was 22.7 (statistics pre-2014 are available from the supplementary statistics). The average class size for P1-P3 decreased from 23.2 to 22.9 between 2019 and 2020 while the average class size for P4-7 decreased from 25.9 to 25.5. Statistics on class sizes in the secondary sector are not collected as class size varies widely across subjects.
(1) Data refers to the average class size of pupils in each stage, not the average class size of single stage classes. The total primary average class size is calculated on a different basis to all the other class sizes shown, see background notes for details.
Table 4.2 shows that the percentage of pupils taught in classes of 18 or fewer increased to 14.0% (22,899 pupils) in 2020 from 12.3% (20,591 pupils) in 2019. Over the same period, the number of pupils taught in classes of 26 or more decreased from 43,634 (26.0%) in 2019 to 40,064 (24.4%).
|0 - 18||22,138||20,999||21,906||20,997||20,613||20,591||22,899|
|19 - 25||103,968||104,426||104,517||106,023||104,453||103,326||100,948|
|26 - 30||45,539||46,489||45,486||44,340||44,362||43,410||39,874|
|31 or more||470||658||807||625||350||224||190|
|% in classes of 18 or fewer or in two teacher classes of 36 or fewer||12.9||12.2||12.7||12.2||12.1||12.3||14.0|
(1) The percentage of P1-P3 pupils in classes of 18 or fewer includes two-teacher classes with 36 or fewer. Classes taught by two teachers at all times are treated as two classes of half the size.
Legislation limits class sizes to 25 for P1 pupils and to 30 for P2 and P3 (see background notes for more information). Table 4.3 shows the number of P1 pupils by class size. Some P1 pupils may be in classes of over 25 due to the inclusion of one or more ‘excepted pupils’ (see background note). In 2020 the number of P1 pupils in classes of 26 or more was 188; this was a reduction from 267 in 2019. In 2020, there were 7 classes with 26 or more pupils and at least one P1 pupil, compared to 11 such classes in 2019 (data not shown).
|0 - 18||11,558||11,213||11,737||11,925||11,326||11,393||12,570|
|19 - 25||45,544||45,307||45,102||44,195||43,254||43,525||40,551|
|26 or more||451||637||698||631||511||267||188|
Table 4.4 shows that the percentage of P1-P3 pupils in classes of 18 or fewer varies considerably between local authorities and years. One of the main reasons for this was the differing number of small schools between local authorities.
Table 4.4: P1-P3 pupils in classes of size 18 or fewer or in two teacher classes with a pupil teacher ratio of 18 or fewer
|Argyll and Bute||34.9||24.2||27.2||27.1||34.6||28.5||39.1|
|City of Edinburgh||7.2||6.1||5.7||6.0||5.2||4.5||6.0|
|Dumfries and Galloway||16.4||13.6||17.1||22.0||20.2||17.7||16.8|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||48.0||51.3||57.8||52.3||56.4||60.4||55.3|
|Perth and Kinross||15.1||14.3||14.7||11.0||11.8||16.7||17.5|
(1) The statistics for Scotland include one grant-aided mainstream school.
Table 4.5 shows pupil characteristics used in equalities monitoring. In 2020, 83.3% of pupils were recorded as being White-Scottish or White-other British. The next largest proportions of ethnic backgrounds were White-Other (3.2%), White-Polish (2.3%), Asian Pakistani (2.1%) and mixed (1.5%).
There were 226,838 pupils (32.3% of all pupils) with an additional support need (ASN) recorded. This was an increase of 1.4 percentage points on 2019 (215,897 pupils with an ASN record, 30.9% of all pupils). The number of pupils identified with ASN has increased markedly since 2010 and there continue to be year on year increases. These increases were likely due in part to continued improvements in recording and the introduction of the additional need types 'Child plans' and ‘Other’ in 2011.
Statistics on additional support needs include pupils in special schools and those in mainstream schools who are assessed or declared disabled or have a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP), Individualised Education Programme (IEP), Child Plan or another type of support. Pupils may have more than one type of ASN, therefore the totals for ASN do not equal the sum of individual types of ASN.
|White - Scottish||265,979||275,900||541,879|
|White - Other British||21,070||22,267||43,337|
|White - Irish||730||774||1,504|
|White - Polish||7,972||8,360||16,332|
|White - Gypsy/Traveller||689||743||1,432|
|White - Other||11,098||11,454||22,552|
|Asian - Indian||3,402||3,535||6,937|
|Asian - Pakistani||7,080||7,316||14,396|
|Asian - Bangladeshi||635||646||1,281|
|Asian - Chinese||2,218||2,227||4,445|
|Asian - Other||2,114||2,186||4,300|
|Caribbean/Black - Scottish/British||465||439||904|
|Caribbean/Black - Other||204||239||443|
|African - Scottish/British||3,095||3,053||6,148|
|African - Other||1,540||1,584||3,124|
|English as an Additional Language||22,907||25,031||47,938|
|Additional Support Needs (ASN)|
|CSP (Co-ordinated Support Plan)||585||949||1,534|
|IEP (Individualised Education Programme)||10,954||23,524||34,478|
|All pupils with ASN(3)||95,359||131,479||226,838|
|All pupils with ASN (excluding Other type)(3)||27,293||49,711||77,004|
(1) Statistics for English as an Additional Language do not include grant-aided special schools as this information is not collected. There were 117 pupils at grant-aided special schools in 2020.
(2) See the background notes for further information on what the other category includes.
(3) Pupils may have more than one type of ASN, therefore the totals for ASN may not equal the sum of individual types of ASN.
95% of eligible three and four year olds were registered for funded ELC (98% in 2019)
9% of two year olds were registered for funded ELC (11% in 2019)