Chapter 4: Classes and pupils
12.1% of P1-P3 pupils were taught in classes of 18 or fewer compared to 12.2% in 2017.
23.5 Average class size for pupils in primary school – this remains the same as 2016 and 2017.
Table 4.1 shows average class sizes for pupils in primary school alongside the overall primary school average. In 2018 the overall average for primary remained at 23.5, unchanged from 2017 and 2016. The average class size for P1-P3 also remained the same as 2017 at 23.2. The average class size for P4-7 decreased slightly from 26.0 in 2017 to 25.9. Data on class sizes in the secondary sector are not collected as class size varies widely across subjects.
Table 4.1: Average class size of primary school pupils(1)
(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 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 2018, 20,613 (12.1 per cent) of P1-P3 pupils were taught in classes of 18 or fewer. This is down from 20,997 (12.2 per cent) in 2017. The number of pupils taught in classes of 26 or more decreased from 44,965 in 2017 to 44,712. However, this represents 26.3 per cent of pupils, a higher proportion than the 26.1 per cent recorded in 2017.
Table 4.2: P1-P3 pupils by class size(1)
|1 - 18||31,101||22,992||22,138||20,999||21,906||20,997||20,613|
|19 - 25||95,898||102,849||103,968||104,426||104,517||106,023||104,453|
|26 - 30||37,805||42,908||45,539||46,489||45,486||44,340||44,362|
|31 or more||473||736||470||658||807||625||350|
|% in classes of 18 or fewer or in 2 teacher classes of 36 or fewer||18.8||13.6||12.9||12.2||12.7||12.2||12.1|
(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 2018 the number of pupils in classes of 26 or more was 511; this is a reduction from 631 in 2017.
Table 4.3: P1 pupils by class size
|1 - 18||15,713||11,968||11,558||11,213||11,737||11,925||11,326|
|19 - 25||40,468||44,864||45,544||45,307||45,102||44,195||43,254|
|26 or more||503||560||451||637||698||631||511|
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||45.5||45.4||34.9||24.2||27.2||27.1||34.6|
|Dumfries & Galloway||20.4||12.0||16.4||13.6||17.1||22.0||20.2|
|Edinburgh, City of||15.3||7.0||7.2||6.1||5.7||6.0||5.2|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||51.7||39.8||48.0||51.3||57.8||52.3||56.4|
|Perth & Kinross||20.7||15.7||15.1||14.3||14.7||11.0||11.8|
(1) The statistics for Scotland include one grant-aided mainstream school.
Table 4.5 shows the pupil characteristics primarily used in equalities monitoring. In 2018, 84.7 per cent of pupils were recorded as being White-Scottish or White-other British. The largest other ethnic backgrounds include White-Other (5.4 per cent), Asian Pakistani (2 per cent) and mixed (1.4 per cent).
199,065 pupils (28.7 per cent of all pupils) had an additional support need (ASN) recorded. This is an increase of 2.1 percentage points on 2017 (183,491 pupils with an ASN record, 26.6 per cent of all pupils). This includes 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 some other type of support. Pupils may have more than one type of ASN, therefore the totals for ASN may not equal the sum of individual types of ASN.
Table 4.5: Pupil characteristics(1)
|White – Scottish||269,082||278,651||547,733|
|White – Other British||19,145||20,120||39,265|
|White – Gypsy/Traveller||631||689||1,320|
|White - Other||18,333||18,961||37,294|
|Asian – Indian||2,995||3,153||6,148|
|Asian – Pakistani||6,719||6,970||13,689|
|Asian – Bangladeshi||542||563||1,105|
|Asian – Chinese||2,047||2,030||4,077|
|Asian – Other||1,942||2,008||3,950|
|Not known / not disclosed||6,363||6,848||13,211|
|English as an Additional Language||21,103||23,208||44,311|
|Additional Support Needs (ASN)|
|CSP (Co-ordinated Support Plan)||746||1,240||1,986|
|IEP (Individualised Education Programme)||11,217||24,349||35,566|
|All pupils with ASN(3)||81,373||117,692||199,065|
|All pupils with ASN (excluding Other type)(3)||25,176||46,724||71,900|
(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 131 pupils at grant-aided special schools in 2018.
(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.
Email: Alasdair Anthony