Chapter 4: Classes and pupils
- 12.2% of P1-P3 pupils were taught in classes of 18 or fewer compared to 12.7% in 2016
- 23.5 Average class size for pupils in primary school – this remains the same as 2016
Table 4.1 shows the average class size for pupils in P1-P3 and overall primary school. In 2017 the average for primary was unchanged from 2016 and remained at 23.5. The average class size for P1-P3 was 23.2 which is a slight decrease from 23.3 in 2016. Class size data are not collected in the secondary sector as class size varies widely across subjects.
Table 4.1: Average class size of primary school pupils(1)
(1) Data refer to the average class size of pupils in each stage, not the average class size of single stage classes. The total average class size is calculated on a different basis than the P1 to P3 class sizes, see background notes for details.
Table 4.2 shows the number of P1-P3 pupils in publicly funded schools in various class sizes. It is a Scottish Government aspiration to reduce P1-P3 class sizes to 18 or fewer. In 2017, 20,997 (12.2 per cent) of P1-P3 pupils were taught in classes of 18 or fewer. This is down from 21,906 (12.7 per cent) in 2016. The number of pupils taught in classes of 26 or more decreased from 46,293 in 2016 to 44,965 in 2017. This represents 26.1 per cent of pupils, a smaller proportion than the 26.8 per cent recorded in 2016.
Table 4.2: P1-P3 pupils by class size(1)
|1 - 18||32,580||31,101||22,992||22,138||20,999||21,906||20,997|
|19 - 25||91,620||95,898||102,849||103,968||104,426||104,517||106,023|
|26 - 30||36,679||37,805||42,908||45,539||46,489||45,486||44,340|
|31 or more||757||473||736||470||658||807||625|
|% in classes of 18 or fewer or in 2 teacher classes of 36 or fewer||20.2||18.8||13.6||12.9||12.2||12.7||12.2|
(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 was introduced in November 2010 to limit class sizes for P1 pupils to 25. 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 pupil' (see background note). In 2017 the number of pupils in classes of 26 or more was 631; this is lower than in 2016 (698).
Table 4.3: P1 pupils by class size
|1 - 18||16,208||15,713||11,968||11,558||11,213||11,737||11,925|
|19 - 25||38,376||40,468||44,864||45,544||45,307||45,102||44,195|
|26 or more||609||503||560||451||637||698||631|
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 is the differing proportions of schools with a small number of pupils 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 & Bute||44.6||45.5||45.4||34.9||24.2||27.2||27.1|
|Dumfries & Galloway||20.6||20.4||12.0||16.4||13.6||17.1||22.0|
|Edinburgh, City of||15.3||15.3||7.0||7.2||6.1||5.7||6.0|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||62.8||51.7||39.8||48.0||51.3||57.8||52.3|
|Perth & Kinross||26.6||20.7||15.7||15.1||14.3||14.7||11.0|
(1) The statistics for Scotland include one grant-aided mainstream school.
Table 4.5 shows the pupil characteristics primarily used in equalities monitoring. In 2017, 85.4 per cent of pupils were recorded as being White-Scottish or White-other British. The largest other ethnic backgrounds include White-Other (5.2 per cent), Asian Pakistani (1.9 per cent) and mixed (1.3 per cent).
183,491 pupils (26.6 per cent of all pupils) had an additional support need (ASN) recorded. This includes pupils in special schools and those in mainstream schools with a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP), Individualised Education Programme (IEP), Child Plan or some other type of support.
Table 4.5: Pupil characteristics(1)
|White – Scottish||270,603||280,634||551,237|
|White – Other British||18,133||18,936||37,069|
|White – Gypsy/Traveller||551||570||1,121|
|White - Other||17,367||18,133||35,500|
|Asian – Indian||2,796||2,980||5,776|
|Asian – Pakistani||6,559||6,771||13,330|
|Asian – Bangladeshi||511||511||1,022|
|Asian – Chinese||2,022||1,974||3,996|
|Asian – Other||1,863||1,925||3,788|
|Not known / not disclosed||6,091||6,546||12,637|
|English as an Additional Language||19,789||21,735||41,524|
|Additional Support Needs (ASN)|
|CSP (Co-ordinated Support Plan)||788||1,394||2,182|
|IEP (Individualised Education Programme)||11,056||24,108||35,164|
|All pupils with ASN(3)||73,641||109,850||183,491|
|All pupils with ASN (excluding Other type)(3)||22,328||42,946||65,274|
(1) Statistics for ethnicity and English as an Additional Language do not include grant-aided special schools as this information is not collected. There were 135 pupils at grant-aided special schools in 2017.
(2) See the background note for further information on what this 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.