Publication - Statistics

Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland, No.3: 2012 Edition

Published: 11 Dec 2012
Part of:

This contains the results of the annual pupil census, annual teacher census, pre-school data and school estate data.

Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland, No.3: 2012 Edition


1. Sources

1.1 The information in this publication is derived from a number of sources: the pupil census, the staff census, the pre-school education census and the school estates core facts survey. The 2012 pupil and staff censuses were carried out on 20th September 2012. The pre-school education census took place in the week commencing 17th September 2012. The school estates core facts survey is based on all schools open on 1 April 2012 and schools rebuilt during the 2011-12 financial year.

2. Coverage and Timing

2.1 The staff and pupil censuses cover all publicly funded schools in Scotland (local authority and grant-aided). Where a school has more than one department, for example a secondary school with a primary department, these are counted as separate schools.

2.2 The pre-school education census covers all centres providing pre-school education that is funded by local authorities. Services that reported to the census that they did not provide pre-school education are not included in this publication. Not all services providing pre-school education responded to the census. The response rate was 81%, an increase from 65% in 2011. For the first time this year local authorities were involved in validating the pre-school returns and provided some data for a further 6% of centres. For the remaining 13% of pre-school centres information has been imputed (i.e. rolled forward) using information from the September 2011 census for 9,114 children. In September 2012, there were 12 centres where this was not possible (e.g. because the centre has opened after September 2011). These centres are recorded as not being known as whether they provide pre-school education or not. Pre-school home visiting teachers reported by local authorities are also included in tables 1.1 and 1.2.

2.3 The improved data quality and validation this year has allowed some double counting of staff across the school census and pre-school census to be identified. This will have affected historic pre-school data as well as the 2012 figures. While it should not have a large effect on the overall figures it is an issue for almost every local authority to a greater or lesser extent. We will be taking steps to reduce double counting across pre-school and school sectors in future collections.

2.4 The school estates core facts survey covers all publicly funded local authority schools. It does not cover grant aided schools, independent schools or pre-school establishments.

2.5 As a result of the September 2010 consultation of users of school statistics, and changes to the legislation around school handbooks, we have made a number of changes to our collections and publications, these include:

1. Moving the absence and exclusions data to a biennial (once every 2 years) collection. We did not collect data for the 2011/12 academic year so the 2010/11 data on attendance, absence and exclusions is the most recent data available and was published in December 2011. Information for the academic year 2012/13 will be collected and will appear in the December 2013 publication. Local authorities still collected information on pupils attendance, absence and exclusions in 2011/12 on their management information systems. So, if more up to date information is required this can be requested direct from local authorities.

2. Ceasing publication of SQA pre-appeal attainment data. Post-appeal data will still be published in June as part of the 'Summary Statistics for Attainment, Leaver Destinations and Healthy Living' publication. SQA pre-appeal attainment data is still published annually in August by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Here is a link to their detailed published data:

3. Publishing school leaver destination data only once per year, in June, as part of the 'Summary Statistics for Attainment, Leaver Destinations and Healthy Living' publication. Skills Development Scotland will still collect the initial destination data and they are currently planning to publish 2011/12 school leavers data in February 2013. Here is a link to their key publications page:

3. Definitions and Data Quality

Teachers and schools (Tables 2.1 - 2.5)

3.1 Figures for the special school sector are compiled from special schools only, and do not include teachers of special classes in mainstream schools. There may be inconsistency between schools and between local authorities in the reporting of special schools and special classes, as well as changes between years. We therefore advise caution when comparing results with previous years and across local authorities. A few authorities do not have special schools, and may fund places in neighbouring authorities for their pupils. The number of special schools includes those where there were no pupils based, but which received pupils based in other schools.

3.2 There are some differences in the way in which authorities deal with centrally employed teachers. In some cases these visiting specialists are considered as allocated to the schools where they teach, and have been included, with relevant partial FTE, in the school-level data. In other cases they are included as centrally employed staff. We are also aware that local authorities have changed procedures for reporting during recent years, so figures are not necessarily comparable over time.

3.3 The accuracy of the reported number of teachers in pre-schools is affected by non-response to the pre-school survey. Please see background note 2.2. We have also identified an issue of teachers and head teachers working in both schools and pre-schools being counted in both sectors. For this reason, the pre-school teacher numbers are likely to be an overcount.

3.4 On 3 May 2012, the FTE recorded for pre-school teachers in Fife in 2011 was revised down, replacing the total figure provided by Fife at the time of publication. This caused the FTE of pre-school teachers and the total FTE of teachers to reduce by 10, compared to originally published figures. Therefore, the total FTE of teachers in Local Authorities in 2011 was 51,276 (as shown in the amended 2011 publication) rather than the 51,286 that was published in the original publication. The 2011 figure for the total FTE of teachers (including grant aided schools) in table 1.1 was also reduced by 10, from 51,441 to 51,431 on 3 May 2012.

Pupil numbers (Tables 3.1 - 3.5)

3.5 A class is a group of pupils normally supervised by one teacher. However, when a class is large and cannot be split, for instance an additional classroom is not available, team teaching may be used. Team teaching is when two teachers are present in the class at all times. When this occurs, the pupil teacher ratio will not exceed maximum class size regulations.

Maximum class sizes in primary schools are as follows:

  • 25 for pupils in P1
  • 30 for single stage class P2 or P3
  • 33 for single stage class P4-P7
  • 25 for composite stage class

Excepted pupils in class-size legislation are-

(a)children whose record of additional support needs specify that they should be educated at the school concerned, and who are placed in the school outside a normal placing round;

(b)children initially refused a place at a school, but subsequently on appeal offered a place outside a normal placing round or because the education authority recognise that an error was made in implementing their placing arrangements for the school;

(c)children who cannot gain a place at any other suitable school within a reasonable distance of their home because they move into the area outside a normal placing round;

(d)children who are pupils at special schools, but who receive part of their education at a mainstream school; and

(e)children with additional support needs who are normally educated in a special unit in a mainstream school, but who receive part of their lessons in a non-special class.

3.6 All class size calculations treat a two-teacher class as two classes with half the pupils in each. Total average class size is calculated by dividing the number of pupils by the number of classes. Average class size for pupils in a particular stage (or range of stages) uses the average class size experienced by pupils, which therefore takes into account the number of pupils experiencing each class size. For example, if three pupils are in a class of three and one pupil is in a class of one, the average of three, three, three and one is 2.5.

3.7 It is not possible to calculate pupil teacher ratios (PTRs) for P1-P3 pupils separately as we are unable to identify the proportion of time teachers work with P1-P3 pupils. Class size information for P1-P3 classes is available, however, this only includes the class teacher and does not include the input received from other teachers (i.e. head teachers, specialist teachers (music, PE, ASN) as it is not possible to allocate their time to a specific group.

3.8 Education authorities must have arrangements in place to identify pupils with additional support needs and from among them those who may require a Co‑ordinated Support Plan (CSP) and the particular additional support needs of the pupils so identified. Individualised Educational Programmes (IEPs) are written plans setting targets that a child with additional support needs is expected to achieve. Targets should be limited in number and focus on key priorities of learning. They should be simple, clearly expressed and measurable.

The statutory criteria and content for a CSP and IEP can be found in the supporting children's learning code of practice at:

Pre-schools (Table 4.1 - 4.2)

3.9 As in previous years, pre-school education centres were asked how many children had access to a General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) registered teacher during census week. In the guidance notes, "access to a teacher" was defined as "the teacher being present in a pre-school education setting when the child is in attendance", and it was acknowledged that systems for providing access to teachers vary.

3.10 Pre-school education centres were also asked whether they received occasional or ad hoc support from any external GTCS registered teachers. This could be instead of, or in addition to, any teacher(s) providing pre-school education under a regular arrangement.

3.11 Full-time equivalent is defined as the total number of hours worked by all staff members divided by the number of hours in a standard full-time working week, which was specified as 35 hours.

3.12 In 2010 the date of the pre-school census was moved from January to September and, as a result, data collected prior to September 2010 are not directly comparable to figures collected from September 2010 onwards. This is particularly the case for the number of children receiving ante-pre-school education (as the September Census will not include children who become eligible and start to receive local authority funded pre-school education in January). As a result, this may also affect the number of teachers (full-time equivalent and headcount), as pre-school centres may take on additional teachers, or increase teachers working hours as a result of the new January 'intake'. Please note that this does not affect the percentage of eligible children receiving pre-school education, or the percentage of children who have 'access' to a pre-school teacher.

School Estates (Table 5.1 - 5.3)

3.13 Only rebuilds or refurbishments with a cost of £0.5 million or more for primary, and £1 million or more for secondary and special schools have been included. Where a school is being refurbished or rebuilt as part of a phased project, this is only included once a phase (or a couple of phases combined) is completed and has a value greater than or equal to the amounts stated above. In order to avoid recording a school once a year over several years, any subsequent phases will not be recorded.

3.14 In order to ensure consistency across local authorities - new guidance on assigning condition ratings to schools - The Condition Core Fact (available from - was published in March 2007. All local authorities are now following this guidance when assigning condition ratings to schools. Prior to 2009/10, some local authorities were not following this guidance, so some of the improvement in condition ratings over the years may reflect the adoption of this guidance.

3.15 The condition of a school is based on the following criteria, as assessed by local authorities:

Condition A: Good - Performing well and operating efficiently.

Condition B: Satisfactory - Performing adequately but showing minor deterioration.

Condition C: Poor - Showing major defects and/or not operating adequately.

Condition D: Bad - Economic life expired and/or risk of failure.

3.16 In order to ensure consistency across local authorities - guidance on assigning suitability ratings to schools - The Suitability Core Fact (available from ) - was published in October 2008. The Suitability of a school is based on the following criteria, as assessed by local authorities:

Condition A: Good - Performing well and operating efficiently.

Condition B: Satisfactory - Performing adequately but with minor problems

Condition C: Poor - Showing major problems and/or not operating optimally

Condition D: Bad - Does not support the delivery of services to children and communities

3.17 Previously published figures on number of schools rebuilt should not be used as the 2007-08 and 2008-09 data was amended in 2009-10 following a robust quality assurance process and the 2009-10 was corrected last year to reflect more accurate information received during the collection of the 2010-11 data. During the collection of the 2012 School estates data, it was discovered that one school had been incorrectly recorded as rebuilt or refurbished in 2010/11. It had in fact been rebuilt in the 2011/12 financial year. The information in this publication and in the 2011 school estates data set has been changed to reflect this.

4. Rounding

4.1 All percentages and FTEs are rounded separately and breakdowns may consequently not sum to Scotland figures.

5. Symbols used

5.1 The following symbols are used:

.. = not available

- = nil or rounds to nil

# = not applicable

6. General

6.1 This is a National Statistics publication. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

6.2 The report was edited by: Carrie Graham, Keira Murray, Kieran Furness and Venetia Haynes.

6.3 All tables are available on the Scottish Government website at

6.4 Additional information on Teacher and pupil statistics can be found through the following link:

and Pre-schools:

7. Enquiries

7.1 Public enquiries (non-media) about the information contained in this bulletin should be addressed to:

Kieran Furness, Pupil and School Statistics, Scottish Government,

Area 2-D South, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ, Tel: (0131) 244 7976


7.2 Media enquiries about the information contained in this notice should be addressed to:

Mark Dunlop tel: (0131) 244 3070

11th December, 2012


Email: Kieran Furness