Chapter 4: Classes and pupils
12.5% of P1-P3 pupils were taught in classes of 18 or fewer compared to 14.0% in 2020.
23.2 Average class size for pupils in primary school – this has increased from 23.1 in 2020.
Table 4.1 shows average class sizes for each stage in primary school alongside the overall primary school average. In 2021 the overall average class size for primary has increased from 23.1 in 2020 to 23.2. The average class size for P1-P3 increased from 22.9 to 23.0 between 2020 and 2021 while the average class size for P4-7 remained the same at 25.5. Statistics on class sizes in the secondary sector are not collected as class size varies widely across subjects.
(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 that the percentage of P1-P3 pupils taught in classes of 18 or fewer decreased to 12.5% (20,328 pupils) in 2021 from 14.0% (22,899 pupils) in 2020. Over the same period, the number of pupils taught in classes of 26 or more decreased from 40,064 in 2020 to 39,723. However, decreases in the total primary school roll mean that this represented a slightly higher percentage of pupils – 24.5% in 2021 compared to 24.4% in 2020 (data not shown).
|0 - 18||20,999||21,906||20,997||20,613||20,591||22,899||20,328|
|19 - 25||104,426||104,517||106,023||104,453||103,326||100,948||102,233|
|26 - 30||46,489||45,486||44,340||44,362||43,410||39,874||39,626|
|31 or more||658||807||625||350||224||190||97|
|% in classes of 18 or fewer or in two teacher classes of 36 or fewer||12.2||12.7||12.2||12.1||12.3||14.0||12.5|
(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 limits class sizes to 25 for P1 pupils and to 30 for P2 and P3 (see background notes for more information). 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 pupils’ (see background note).
In 2021 the number of P1 pupils in classes of 26 or more was 293; this was an increase from 188 in 2020. In 2021, there were 12 classes with 26 or more pupils and at least one P1 pupil, compared to 7 such classes in 2020 (data not shown).
|0 - 18||11,213||11,737||11,925||11,326||11,393||12,570||11,017|
|19 - 25||45,307||45,102||44,195||43,254||43,525||40,551||41,724|
|26 or more||637||698||631||511||267||188||293|
Table 4.4 shows that the percentage of P1-P3 pupils in classes of 18 or fewer varied considerably between local authorities and years. One of the main reasons for this was the differing number of small schools between local authorities.
|Argyll and Bute||24.2||27.2||27.1||34.6||28.5||39.1||37.9|
|City of Edinburgh||6.1||5.7||6.0||5.2||4.5||6.0||5.8|
|Dumfries and Galloway||13.6||17.1||22.0||20.2||17.7||16.8||13.9|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||51.3||57.8||52.3||56.4||60.4||55.3||65.9|
|Perth and Kinross||14.3||14.7||11.0||11.8||16.7||17.5||17.9|
(1) The statistics for Scotland include one grant-aided mainstream school.
Table 4.5 shows pupil characteristics used in equalities monitoring. In 2021, 82.6% of pupils were recorded as being White-Scottish or White-Other British. The next largest proportions of ethnic backgrounds were White-Other (3.3%), White-Polish (2.4%), Asian Pakistani (2.1%) and Mixed (1.6%).
The number of pupils recorded with ASN has increased markedly since 2010 and there continue to be year on year increases (see table 1.5 of the supplementary tables). These increases were likely due in part to continued improvements in recording and the introduction of the additional need types 'Child plans' and ‘Other’ in 2011.
There were 232,753 pupils (33.0% of all pupils) with an additional support need (ASN) recorded in 2021. This was an increase of 0.7 percentage points on 2020 (226,838 pupils with an ASN record, 32.3% of all pupils). However, this is first time since 2009 that the rate has increased by less than one percentage point.
Statistics on additional support needs include 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 another type of support. Pupils may have more than one type of ASN, therefore the totals for ASN do not equal the sum of individual types of ASN.
Table 4.5: Pupil characteristics(1), Headcount
|White - Scottish||263,185||273,819||537,004|
|White - Other British||21,814||23,028||44,842|
|White - Irish||731||768||1,499|
|White - Polish||8,159||8,631||16,790|
|White - Gypsy/Traveller||682||753||1,435|
|White - Other||11,368||11,883||23,251|
|Asian - Indian||3,656||3,786||7,442|
|Asian - Pakistani||7,211||7,560||14,771|
|Asian - Bangladeshi||681||678||1,359|
|Asian - Chinese||2,456||2,466||4,922|
|Asian - Other||2,289||2,378||4,667|
|Caribbean/Black - Scottish/British||472||458||930|
|Caribbean/Black - Other||234||265||499|
|African - Scottish/British||3,307||3,249||6,556|
|African - Other||1,834||1,905||3,739|
|English as an Additional Language||23,569||25,872||49,441|
|CSP (Co-ordinated Support Plan)||542||878||1,420|
|IEP (Individualised Education Programme)||10,913||23,197||34,110|
|All pupils with ASN(3)||98,486||134,267||232,753|
|All pupils with ASN (excluding Other type)(3)||27,834||50,181||78,015|
(1) Statistics for English as an Additional Language do not include grant-aided special schools as this information is not collected. There were 125 pupils at grant-aided special schools in 2021.
(2) See the background notes for further information on what the other 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.
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback