Information

Summary Statistics For Schools In Scotland 2021

Headline statistics from the annual pupil and teacher census and early learning and childcare provision conducted in September 2021 and attendance, absence and exclusions for the 2020 to 2021 school year.

This document is part of 2 collections


Chapter 2: Overview

91,603 registrations in 2,630 early learning & childcare centres (ELC)

704,723 pupils in 2,469 primary, secondary and special schools

54,285 teachers (full-time equivalent, including ELC)

13.2 pupil teacher ratio in schools

The overall number of pupils and teachers both increased in 2021. The pupil teacher ratio (PTR) in schools, which gives a measure of the size of the teaching workforce relative to the pupil population, decreased to 13.2.

Table 2.1: Schools, pupils, teachers and PTR

Schools
2015(1) 2016 2017 2018(6) 2019 2020 2021
ELC(2) 2,492 2,514 2,532 2,544 2,576 2,587 2,630
Primary 2,039 2,031 2,019 2,012 2,004 2,005 2,001
Secondary 361 359 360 357 358 357 357
Special 144 141 135 114 114 114 111
Pupils
2015(1) 2016 2017 2018(6) 2019 2020 2021
ELC(2) 97,262 96,961 95,893 96,549 96,375 90,126 91,603
Primary 391,148 396,697 400,312 400,276 398,794 393,957 390,313
Secondary 281,939 280,983 281,993 286,152 292,063 300,954 306,811
Special(3) 6,871 6,668 6,654 6,823 7,132 7,286 7,599
Total (excluding ELC)(3) 679,958 684,348 688,959 693,251 697,989 702,197 704,723
Teachers
2015(1) 2016 2017 2018(6) 2019 2020 2021
ELC(2) 1,038 985 921 821 798 729 704
School based 48,395 48,746 49,463 50,099 50,477 51,663 52,593
Primary 23,425 23,920 24,477 24,899 25,027 25,651 25,807
Secondary 23,059 22,957 23,150 23,317 23,522 24,077 24,782
Special 1,911 1,869 1,836 1,883 1,927 1,934 2,005
Centrally employed (school) 1,283 1,239 1,129 1,039 972 1,009 988
Total school (excluding ELC) 49,679 49,985 50,592 51,138 51,449 52,672 53,581
Total (including ELC) 50,717 50,970 51,513 51,959 52,247 53,400 54,285
Pupil Teacher Ratios
2015(1) 2016 2017 2018(6) 2019 2020 2021
Publicly funded schools(4) 13.7 13.7 13.6 13.6 13.6 13.3 13.2
Total based in schools(5) 14.0 14.0 13.9 13.8 13.8 13.6 13.4
Primary 16.7 16.6 16.4 16.1 15.9 15.4 15.1
Secondary 12.2 12.2 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.4
Special 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.8

(1) The pupil teacher ratio for Total based in schools in 2015 was amended in October 2017. See background notes for details.

(2) ELC centre count includes local authority and partnership centres, and ELC teacher figures include ELC home visiting.

(3) Special and total pupil count were updated for 2011-2016 in October 2017. See background notes for details.

(4) Includes all school based and centrally employed teachers. Includes grant-aided pupils and teachers.

(5) Excludes centrally employed teachers.

(6) Prior to 2018, special schools with no pupils or where no pupils were on roll but pupils from other schools attended were included in school counts in this table. From 2018, they have been excluded.

The numbers of teachers increased in primary, secondary and special schools while the number of centrally employed and early learning & childcare teachers decreased. The decrease in primary pupils combined with the increase in primary teachers meant there were fewer pupils per teacher and consequently the primary PTR decreased to 15.1. This is the lowest ever PTR for primary schools. In secondary schools the increase in teachers was proportionally higher than the increase in pupils meaning there were fewer pupils per teacher, so the secondary PTR decreased slightly to 12.4. (Statistics pre-2015 are available from the supplementary statistics and historical time series).

Contact

Email: school.stats@gov.scot

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