Summary statistics for schools in Scotland no. 8: 2017 edition

Results of the annual pupil census, annual teacher census, and data on early learning and childcare, school estates, attendance, absence and exclusions.

Background notes

Sources and Timing

The information in this publication is derived from a number of sources: the pupil census, the staff census, the early learning and childcare census, the school estates core facts survey and the attendance, absence and exclusions collection. The 2017 pupil and staff censuses were carried out on 20 September 2017. The early learning and childcare census took place in the week commencing 18 September 2017. The school estates core facts survey is based on all schools open on 1 April 2017 and schools built during the 2016-17 financial year. The attendance, absence and exclusions collection is based on the 2016/17 academic year.

The information required to complete the pupil and staff censuses was collected electronically, through local authorities, from all publicly funded primary, secondary and special schools, as part of the ScotXed programme. The information is that stored on schools' management information systems, thus reducing the burden on schools.

The ELC census is completed by the approximately 2,500 centres that provide funded Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland, and the figures are validated by local authorities.

Following 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. This included moving the absence and exclusions data to a biennial (two yearly) collection. Local authorities continue to collect information on pupils' attendance, absence and exclusions each year on their management information systems and this can be requested directly from local authorities.

For information on our quality assurance process, see the School Education Statistics Validation Process section on the Scottish Government website at:


The staff census covers all publicly funded schools in Scotland (i.e. local authority and grant-aided schools).

Teacher number statistics and the number of teachers used in pupil teacher ratio calculations include only those teachers defined as 'on roll' (or 'in complement'). This is based on the full-time equivalent (FTE) of teachers with the following status categories:

Teacher Status Further information
Normal complement Classroom teacher
Long term sick absence replacement Replacement for a teacher on sick absence
Secondment replacement Replacement for a teacher on secondment
Maternity leave replacement Replacement for a teacher on maternity leave
Other replacement (over 2 days)* Other replacement includes teachers who are on short term contracts over 2 days to cover a vacancy and are teaching on census day.
Supernumerary In addition to normal teaching staff
Long term training/staff development replacement Replacement for a teacher on absent due to training
Temporary contract covering a vacancy  
Teacher abroad on foreign exchange
Short term supply teacher (2 days or fewer) and centrally employed (mainstream supply teacher from supply pool) If an authority runs a supply pool, those teachers should be included 'in complement' if they are assigned to a school on the census day. They can be included either in the assigned sector, or in the centrally employed total, but not both.

*as per changes to the Teacher Pay deal in 2013.

For published figures:

  • No single teacher can exceed 1 FTE.
  • Centrally employed teachers (including peripatetic/visiting specialists, hospital teaching service and home visiting tutors) who are teaching on census day will be assigned a status as above and are included in the total number of teachers in Scotland and the overall pupil/teacher ratio. Where they teach at a number of schools it is permissible to split their time across those schools.
  • Teachers recorded in roles such as quality improvement officer or educational advisor are classed as support staff, and are not included in the teacher figures or PTR calculations.
  • Vacant posts are not included.

Further information can be found in the staff census data specification/guidance which is available here:

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. Therefore it might be better to compare total FTE or divide any centrally employed teachers across the other sectors if you wish to compare figures between local authorities. However, centrally employed teachers are a small proportion of the total FTE, only around 2 per cent at Scotland level, so the effect of these different recording methods is small. We are also aware that local authorities have changed procedures for reporting centrally employed teachers during recent years, so figures are not necessarily comparable over time, unless you adjust as suggested above.

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.

In February 2015, the teacher numbers for 2014 were corrected as a result of minor amendments to statistics for Highland. There were slight changes to primary, secondary and special school teacher figures which totalled to fewer than ten FTE. These changes did not affect the main messages of these statistics. Further revisions were made to 2014 teacher figures in December 2015. These were a result of our quality assurance processes and receipt of additional information. These revisions related to changes in primary, secondary and centrally employed teacher FTE for North Lanarkshire and a small reduction in the special sector, equating to a reduction of 92 FTE for this local authority's 2014 total. There was a decrease for Dumfries & Galloway (relating to ELC) and a small reduction for West Lothian (primary and centrally employed). The Grant-aided primary and secondary totals increased, primarily as a result of a recording issue which meant that some teachers working across both primary and secondary sectors were undercounted. Overall, these amendments reduced the 2014 total FTE by 94. These changes also affected the 2014 PTR in some cases.

Classes and Pupils

The Pupil Census covers 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.

Pupils included in this census are those recorded by the school as being on the roll of the school except those in full time education at another institution ( 'status 01' in the data specification only).


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

A composite class is a class of pupils from two or more stages.

Excepted pupils in class-size legislation are –

(a) Children whose record of additional support needs (ASN) specifies 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.

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

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.

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.

There would appear to be inconsistency between schools and between local authorities in the reporting of special schools as separate identities, as well as changes over the past years. We therefore advise caution when comparing results with previous years and across local authorities.

Some special schools have pupils from a wide age range and the data collected from this sector reflects this. Where pupils attend a 'special unit' attached to a mainstream school, they are usually included in the figures for the mainstream school. Some schools and local authorities have reported pupils from 'special units' separately.

A few authorities do not have special schools and may fund places in neighbouring authorities for their pupils. The number of special schools includes 10 where there were no pupils based, but which received pupils based in other schools.

At September 2017 there was one grant-aided mainstream school, with primary and secondary departments, and seven grant-aided special schools. These schools are included in national totals, but are identified separately in the local authority level tables. In publications prior to 2003 they were included within the local authority of their location.

Pupils with Additional Support Needs

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 overcome barriers and benefit from school education. The act also states that education authorities must have arrangements in place to identify pupils with Additional Support Needs (ASN) and from among them, those who may require a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) or Individualised Educational Programme (IEP). Education authorities must also be able to identify the reason(s) that additional support is needed.

Data collected in the Local Financial Returns for 2015/16 indicate that education authorities spend £584 million on additional support for learning out of a total spend of £4.9 billion. This equates to 12% of the overall spend on education in Scotland.

Individualised Educational Programmes (IEPs) are written plans setting targets that a child with ASN is expected to achieve.

Co-ordinated Support Plans (CSPs) are statutory education plans prepared by local authorities to identify, and ensure provision of, services for children and young people with complex or multiple additional support needs. 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:

This bulletin also includes information on 'other' types of support. 'Other' type refers to additional support needs which have been identified and are being supported but which do not fall within the subcategories of need collected in the pupil census. These may be needs which are of short-term duration, or which do not need significant differentiation of learning and teaching to overcome barriers to learning.

Child plans are single or multi agency plans based on an assessment guided by the Getting it Right for every Child National Practice Model.

In the 2010 pupil census, information on ASN was collected in a different way. For the first time, information on reasons for support and nature of support was collected separately for each type of additional support need (CSP, IEP, disability, other). In previous years, while information on reasons and nature of support was collected, it was not linked to specific need types. There have been six extra categories (communication support needs, young carer, bereavement, substance misuse, family issues and risk of exclusion) introduced in 'Reasons for support for pupils with Additional Support Needs' since 2012.

The number of pupils identified with ASN has increased markedly since 2010 and there continue to be year on year increases. These increases are likely due to continued improvements in recording and the introduction of the additional need types 'Child plans' and 'Other' in 2011.

Pupil ethnicity and national identity

The categories used to collect ethnicity and national identity data changed in the 2011 pupil census to agree with the categories used in the main population census. This means they are not directly comparable with information collected in previous years. Pupils and parents were given the option of not disclosing their ethnicity and in such cases pupils were not attributed a category. Information on country of birth and nationality are not collected.

Children looked after

Pupil census figures on children looked after by the local authority in the supplementary tables are as reported by schools. The definitive source for statistical information in relation to the number and characteristics of looked after children (LAC) is the Scottish Government 'Children Looked After Survey (CLAS). The information in the CLAS is provided by local authority social work services departments. The reporting of a child's LAC status by schools in the Pupil Census is subject to a degree of error.

Urban/rural classifications

The urban/rural classifications in Pupil Census Supplementary data Table 1.3 are defined as in the Scottish Household Survey:

Denominational schools

For the purposes of the information in the Pupil Census Supplementary data denominational schools have been restricted to those schools where a specific denomination is named Multi- and inter-denominational schools have therefore been grouped with non-denominational schools.

Early Learning and Childcare

The early learning and childcare (ELC) census covers all centres providing ELC funded by local authorities. This was previously referred to as pre-school but was changed to reflect the provision under the new Children and Young People Act that came in to force in 2014. Only services that reported they provided local authority funded ELC at the time of the census, and had a known provision type (local authority/partner provider) are included in this publication. Child-minders are not currently included in the census, although they also provide funded ELC for children in some local authorities.

The ELC census is completed by the approximately 2,500 centres that provide funded Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland. In 2015, for the first time, local authorities were able to check and amend their centres' data before submitting it to the Scottish Government. These improved validation processes have continued, and have resulted in higher data quality. Increased scrutiny of the ELC data by local authorities has affected all ELC data from 2015 onwards. In particular, the recording of children aged under 3 (as previously children who were not receiving funded ELC, but were attending centres had been wrongly included by centres), and of ELC teachers (as teachers had been double counted), leading to lower numbers in these categories than in previous years. In 2014, local authorities supplied information on centrally employed ELC teachers separate from the teachers recorded at centres for the first time.

ELC home visiting teachers reported by local authorities as part of the school teacher collection are included in tables 2.1 and 5.2 in addition to the data collected through the ELC census.

Previously, if a centre that was providing funded ELC did not return any data then information from the previous census was imputed (i.e. rolled forward). 2016 was the first year that we did not carry out this procedure, and we did not carry this out again this year. All but one centre completed the return. This means that the quality of the data from 2016 onwards should be improved. (In 2015, data was imputed for 82 centres.)

Early learning and childcare 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 an early learning and childcare setting when the child is in attendance', and it was acknowledged that systems for providing access to teachers vary.

Centres under a 'regular arrangement' include those who employ a teacher themselves and/or receive regular scheduled access from a centrally employed teacher. Centres with non-regular access are those that receive support only from external teachers on an occasional or ad hoc basis.

In 2010 the date of the early learning and childcare census was moved from January to September. As a result, data collected prior to and after September 2010 are not directly comparable.

Quality assurance of our 2012 data identified the possibility that some teachers who worked in early learning and childcare and primary could be double counted. This was addressed in 2013 by giving local authorities the opportunity to change their teacher numbers for 2010, 2011 and 2012 to remove this double counting. As a result of this, eight local authorities amended their early learning and childcare teacher numbers (Angus, East Dunbartonshire, Midlothian, North Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire), three local authorities amended both primary and early learning and childcare teacher numbers (Aberdeenshire, Highland, Orkney), and one local authority (West Lothian) amended their primary school teacher numbers only. This resulted in minor changes to the primary teacher numbers and substantial changes to the early learning and childcare teacher numbers in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

In 2014 we added an additional check to our quality assurance process which identified a small number of teachers (less than 0.5% of the total) that had been recorded across ELC and the school census with an FTE over one (i.e. recorded as working more than full time hours). We worked with local authorities to resolve this issue, leading to reductions in FTE in both sectors but the majority were removed from ELC. This check has continued from 2015 onwards, and working with local authorities cases where teachers are recorded with an FTE over one are resolved, often resulting in a decrease in teacher FTE within the ELC sector.

This year (2017), for the first time, we collected data on the number of graduates (other than teachers) working in ELC. Graduates include ELC staff that hold either of the following:

  • A degree level (SCQF level 9 or above) benchmark qualification required by the SSSC for registration as a manager/lead practitioner (see list of qualifications below).
  • A degree level (SCQF level 9 or above) qualification relevant to early years and are working towards a degree level benchmark qualification required by the SSSC for registration as a manager/lead practitioner; recognised as prior learning and may be used for entry to the benchmark qualifications, or count towards studying for the benchmark qualifications. This also includes manager/lead practitioners that have degree level qualifications that were previously acceptable for registration with the SSSC as a manager/lead practitioner, and have a condition on their registration to obtain one of the benchmark qualifications listed below.
  • A degree level qualification (SCQF level 9 or above) sufficient to meet the registration standards of another regulatory body (e.g. Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Medical Council).

We also collected data on the number of ELC staff that don't currently hold a degree level (SCQF level 9 or above) qualification relevant to early years, but are working towards one of the SSSC benchmark qualifications required by the SSSC for registration as a manager/lead practitioner. Note that these staff may hold degrees in subjects unrelated to early years, such as physics or accountancy, or may hold early years qualifications below SCQF level 9.

SSSC Benchmark degree level (SCQF level 9 or above) qualifications

The benchmark qualifications required by the SSSC for registration as a manager/lead practitioner are:

  • BA Childhood Practice
  • BA (Honours) Childhood Practice (Strathclyde University)
  • Graduate Diploma Childhood Practice (the University of the West of Scotland)
  • SQA Professional Development Award Childhood Practice (360 credits at SCQF Level 9)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Childhood Practice
  • Master of Education Childhood Practice, Glasgow University and Dundee University

School Estates

The school estates core facts survey covers all publicly funded local authority schools open on 1 April. It does not cover grant-aided schools, independent schools or early learning and childcare establishments. The survey also contains information on the number of schools built or substantially refurbished over the last 10 financial years. School Estates data was previously collected in 2004 and then annually from 2007. The collection was piloted in December 2003, however as the 2003 data were incomplete and often of poor quality the results were not published. Not all local authorities could answer all of the questions in the survey at this time. Information from the survey is used to establish baselines, inform targets, inform spending decisions, support monitoring and evaluation of progress over time, and support assessments of value for money in the school estate.

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.

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

Guidance is also available to local authorities 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

Only new builds 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 built or refurbished 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.

Figures published prior to 2013 on number of schools built should not be used as the data was revised following robust quality assurance processes in later years.

Local authorities determine the formulae used to calculate capacity, in line with Scottish Government guidance (Circular No. 03/2004) They may therefore vary between local authorities and school types. The percentage of capacity used in each school was calculated using the number of pupils recorded at each school from the results of the September 2009 pupil census. Data on the total gross internal floor area (GIA) and area within the perimeter (AWP) of the school estate is no longer collected.

A school is recorded as having community services if there is space within it exclusively dedicated to and managed by those providing community services, such as dental, medical or police or social work. This does not refer to use of school amenities such as sports or cultural facilities by community groups. The 2008 survey guidance clarified and restricted what should be included in this category, so a comparison of the 2007 data and later years may not be valid.

PFI (Private Finance Initiative) and NPD (Non-Profit Distributing) models are no longer used in relation to rebuilds/refurbishments. PFI referred to schools that were built or refurbished under a public/private partnership arrangement (previously known as PPP) and NPD referred to schools that were built or refurbished under Non-Profit Distributing models. SSF (Scotland's Schools for the Future) refers to schools built under that programme. It is being funded via a mixture of capital grant and revenue support through the Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) pipeline of investment.

Data on the percentage of schools in a good or satisfactory condition in 2016 were corrected in 2017 due to 2015 percentages being used in error and so differ slightly from figures previously published in the supplementary tables. These figures were also amended in table 5.1 of the supplementary tables. This did not affect the 2016 figures on the number of schools in good or satisfactory condition.

In 2012, we revised the data on schools built in 2010/11 to take account of additional information received whilst collecting the 2012 school estates data. This was due to one school being recorded as built/substantially refurbished on the 2011 school estates return when the work was not completed until 2011/12.

Suitability figures for 2010, 2011 and 2012 were corrected in 2013 to take account of revised suitability information for one East Dunbartonshire school in 2010, 39 in 2011 and one in 2012 and so differ slightly from previously published figures.

As a result of changes to the Local Government Finance collections we are no longer producing Table 8, which contained information on capital and revenue expenditure on the school estate. Changes to the way the local government finance recorded NPD/PFI rebuilds have made it impossible to produce this on a consistent basis. If you still require this information please contact us.

Attendance and Absence

The attendance and absence collection covers all publicly funded local authority schools in Scotland and Jordanhill, the grant-aided mainstream school. It does not cover grant-aided special schools, independent schools or early learning and childcare establishments. The information shown for attendance and absence is for the academic year 2016/17. Schools which closed during the 2016/17 session, and for which data was available, were included. The attendance and absence of S6 pupils were excluded from some of the summary figures in earlier publications. However, S6 pupils have now been included in all analysis of attendance and absence.


In 2007, the Scottish Government published guidance Included, Engaged and Involved Part 1 which replaced Scottish Executive Circular 5/03 on the management of attendance and absence in Scottish schools. This guidance:

  • Clarifies classification and recording requirements
  • Addresses wider issues of promotion and management of attendance
  • Strengthens links between absence and protection of children

Electronic copies are available from:

Holidays taken during term time must be categorised as unauthorised absence. However, it is acceptable under exceptional circumstances for schools to authorise a family holiday during term time. Such circumstances may include a family holiday judged to be important to the wellbeing and cohesion of the family, following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other traumatic events. It should not include such reasons as the availability of cheap holidays, the availability of desired accommodation, poor weather experienced during school holidays, holidays which overlap the beginning or end of term, or parental difficulty obtaining leave (with local judgement applied in cases where evidence is provided by the employer that it cannot accommodate leave during school holidays without serious consequences).

Pupils arriving late are marked as such, with a distinction made for those arriving in the second half of a morning or the second half of the afternoon. Where summary data is necessary, if a pupil has attended most of an opening it is counted as attendance, but if they have been absent for most of a session it is included as authorised absence. They are of course still separately identified as being late but present for some of the time in the schools' systems for management purposes. Schools were also given the possibility of including all late marks on a pupil's record as attendance, if it is deemed beneficial for encouraging attendance. The distinction is also used in judging attendance records of those receiving bursaries and allowances.

Further details can be obtained from the circular and addendum

Prior to 2003/04, information was collected at school level, by stage up to S5, in the four categories: attendance, authorised absence, unauthorised absence due to temporary exclusion and other unauthorised absence. From 2003/04 information was collected at individual level, enabling linkage to pupil characteristics collected in the pupil census. From 2003/04 information was also collected (and published) for a wider range of attendance and absence categories.

The table below gives the full definitions of attendance and absence used in this publication.


participation in the programme of educational activities arranged by the school.

In addition to actual attendance within the school premises, it covered:

  • work experience
  • educational visits
  • day and residential visits to outdoor centres
  • college/consortium school study
  • interviews and visits relating to further and/or higher education
  • debates, sports, musical or theatrical productions etc. arranged by, or in conjunction with, the school
  • activities in connection with psychological services
  • school medical examinations off-site
  • study leave
  • receiving tuition via hospital or outreach teaching services
  • medical and dental appointments
  • sickness with appropriate educational provision

Authorised absence

  • sickness without education provision
  • short-term exceptional domestic circumstances
  • family holidays in exceptional circumstances only

Other authorised absence, including:

  • bereavement
  • lack of transport - including due to bad weather
  • religious observance
  • meetings prior to and in court
  • attendance at or in connection with a Children’s Hearing or Care Review
  • weddings of immediate family
  • agreed debates, sports, musical or theatrical productions not arranged by or in conjunction with the school
  • extended absence in relation to children of travelling families

Unauthorised absence

  • truancy (unauthorised absence from school for any period as a result of premeditated or spontaneous action on the part of pupil, parent or both) and unexplained absence
  • long-term exceptional domestic circumstances
  • family holidays during term time, other than in exceptional circumstances
  • other unauthorised absences, e.g. where a parent is in dispute with a school

Absence due to temporary exclusion

Extended leave

Recorded separately outwith the figures for attendance and absence, and includes circumstances such as:

  • extended overseas educational trips not organised by the school
  • short-term parental placement abroad
  • family returning to its country of origin (to care for a relative, or for cultural reasons)


Percentages for authorised and unauthorised absence relate to the total number of possible attendances. For many schools this is 380 half-day openings during the school year. However, all schools in the Lothians, the Scottish Borders, Edinburgh and 24 schools in Highland operate 342 (longer) half-day openings in the school year.


The exclusions collection covers all publically funded local authority schools in Scotland. It does not cover grant-aided schools, independent schools or early learning and childcare establishments.

Under Circulars 10/93 and 1/95, local authorities are required each year to collect certain statistics from schools on exclusions. The statistics relate to half-days of temporary exclusions and number of pupils removed from the register (previously known as 'permanent' exclusions).

New guidance on exclusions from school was published in 2017 and is available at :

An exclusion is temporary when a pupil is excluded from a school but remains on the register of that school because they are expected to return when the exclusion period is completed. The term 'removed from the register' refers to a pupil who is excluded and their name removed from the school register. Such a pupil would then be educated at another school or via some other form of provision.

Local authorities may also reach agreements with parents to move a pupil to another school without the use of a formal 'removal from register', but where the pupil is unlikely to have the option of staying in the school.

Changes to data

There are no scheduled revisions to these statistics. The Scottish Government policy on revisions and corrections is available here:

It is not always feasible to correct all instances of incorrect statistics across all historical publications and releases. However, all statistics shown in new publication bulletins will be correct at the time of release.

In June 2018 the number of pupils who were removed from the register was corrected to take into account four pupils removed from the register who were not included in the original analysis. This also affected the total number of exclusions figure. Due to differencing between the original and corrected datasets it is not possible to provide any additional information about these pupils, for example stage or gender breakdowns, as it may be possible to identify these individuals. Therefore only Table 8.1 and Table 1 and Chart 1 of the exclusions background datasets have been updated.

In December 2018 the number of graduate staff and staff working towards graduate level qualifications was corrected to take into account an error with the data from Falkirk. Previously, the figures erroneously included many staff who did not hold or were not working towards graduate level qualifications meeting the SSSC benchmark for registration as a manager / lead practitioner. As data for September 2017 was not available when the error was discovered, the figures for 2017 for Falkirk have been estimated using data from September 2018 matched with the data supplied in 2017. This error only affected table 5.2 in this publication, as well as tables 12, 13, 14 and 15 in the additional Early Learning and Childcare tables accompanying this publication. All of these tables have been amended.

Due to incorrect 2011-2016 grant-aided special school pupil numbers, data was amended in 2017. The total PTR in the 2017 publication table 2.1 was updated for 2015 where total PTR reduced to 14.0 from 14.1. Special pupil numbers and total pupil numbers in 2011-2016 were amended in table 2.1. Pupil numbers for 2011-2016 in supplementary tables 1.1, 1.15, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.8, 5.2 and 8.2 and chart 1 were amended.

The number of pupils with ASN in grant-aided mainstream schools (Jordanhill) were under reported in the 2016 statistics. The data has been corrected in the 2017 supplementary tables 1.5, 2.5a-c and 3.5a-c.

In June 2017, a corrected version of school level class size supplementary data was published due to the class size data for 2013 being matched to the wrong schools. The class size data at national and local authority level was not affected.

In February 2016 the 2015 primary school, pupil, class size and PTR figures were revised following new data for a school in North Lanarkshire not being returned at the time of the census.

In March 2015, supplementary tables 2.8, 3.9 and 4.8 were amended in the 2014 supplementary tables due to 2013 data being used in error for the 'other subject' column. Table 4.8 was also amended in the 2013 and 2014 supplementary tables due to data for two ASN categories being incorrectly entered. These changes had no effect on the main messages of these statistics.

In February 2015 the number of primary pupils by class size in 2014 was amended slightly as one P2 pupil had been recorded in the wrong class. This affected class size categories 1-18, 19-20 and 21-25.

In September 2014 Table 1.6 in the supplementary tables, 'Integration of pupils with Additional Support Needs into mainstream classes, 2013', was amended in as special school data had not been included in columns: 'with CSP', 'with IEP', 'with Other Need', 'Assessed Or Declared Disabled' or 'Child Plans'.

In February 2012, small errors were discovered in the additional support needs statistics in Table 3.5. Special school pupils with no additional support needs recorded had been excluded in error from the total pupils with ASN category and the grant-aided special school pupils with an IEP or Disability recorded had not been recorded correctly in these categories. Supplementary Tables 3.1, 3.3 and 3.4 were amended following initial publication after one local authority submitted additional information that a large P1 classes had two teachers. This amendment caused the percentage of P1-P3 pupils in class sizes of 18 or fewer in 2011 to increase slightly from 20.1 to 20.2. Table 3.5 was corrected to include additional information on pupils with additional support needs which were submitted by local authorities after initial publication.

In 2011, statistics for 2010 were changed to amend incorrect pupil numbers initially submitted for the grant-maintained sector.

In 2010 statistics for 2006-2009 were revised to include two teacher classes with a PTR of 18 or fewer.

From 2006 inter-denominational schools have been categorised as non-denominational, causing a decrease in the number of schools and pupils designated 'other' denomination.


Pupil census and teacher census data: This information is collected from the management information systems of schools. The estimated cost to local authorities of extracting and validating this information is around £130,000 based on the 2015 collection.

Early Learning and Childcare census: This information is collected directly from ELC centres and we have no information on how much it costs them to complete this. However, local authorities have taken on a role in validating the ELC data (and in some local authorities completing the data on behalf of the centres), and it costs them an estimated £27,000 to do this.

School Estates: The estimated cost to local authorities of extracting and validating this information is £8,000 based on the 2017 collection.

Rounding and symbols

All percentages and FTEs are rounded separately so breakdowns may not sum to the total shown.

The following symbols are used:

: = not available

0 = nil or rounds to nil

# = not applicable


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