Publication - Statistics

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

Published: 12 Dec 2017

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

Summary statistics for schools in Scotland no. 8: 2017 edition
Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 1: Introduction

This publication brings together a wide range of information on early learning and childcare provision, pupils, teachers, school buildings and attendance, absence and exclusions.

Early learning and childcare

  • Local authorities have a duty to secure a part-time funded place (currently 600 hours a year) for 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds
  • Places are provided by local authority services, or secured through partnership arrangements with private or third sector services

Primary schools

  • Children usually start school between 4½ and 5½ years old
  • There are seven stages from primary 1 (P1) to primary 7 (P7)
  • There is no streaming of pupils by ability at primary school and pupils are automatically promoted from one class to the next each year

Secondary schools

  • Pupils attend for up to 6 years (S1-S6)
  • Qualifications are usually taken from age 15-16
  • In most circumstances young people may leave school at end of S4

Special schools

  • Most children with additional support needs are educated in mainstream schools but some with complex or specific needs are educated in special schools
  • Specials schools cover primary and secondary education
  • In these statistics pupils attending special schools are not assigned to primary or secondary or to a stage


  • School teachers have either a 4 year degree including or concurrent with a teaching qualification, or have completed a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) following a degree
  • Students graduating with a teaching qualification from a Scottish university are guaranteed a one year probationary teaching post in a local authority school and are referred to as probationers in these statistics

School estates

  • The school estates core facts survey is conducted annually and covers schools open on 1 April
  • This collects information on schools newly built or substantially refurbished and local authorities’ assessment of the condition and suitability of their school estate

Attendance, absence and exclusion

  • Attendance, or reason for absence, is recorded by schools daily
  • Pupils may be excluded where their continued attendance would be seriously detrimental to order and discipline in the school or the educational wellbeing of the learners there
  • Information on attendance, absence and exclusions is collected biennially