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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.

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Chapter 5: Early Learning and Childcare

97% of eligible three and four year olds were registered for funded ELC (95% in 2020)

13% of two year olds were registered for funded ELC (9% in 2020)

Table 5.1 shows that there were 91,603 registrations for funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) in September 2021, an increase of 1.6% since September 2020 when there were 90,126 registrations. Uptake of funded ELC for eligible three and four year olds has also increased, with an estimated 97% registered (95% in 2020). Children registered to receive funded ELC at more than one centre may be counted more than once, so this will slightly overestimate true uptake. Children may also attend centres outside of the local authority they live in, which would also affect these figures.

The number of two year olds registered has increased from 4,863 in 2020 to 6,474 in 2021. This represents 13% of all two year olds, an increase from 9% in 2020. It should be noted that the proportion of the two year old population registered will be affected by the proportion of the population eligible for funded ELC. Although the exact number of children eligible is not known, it is estimated that around a quarter of two year olds are eligible for funded ELC through the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and subsequent secondary legislation which commenced in August 2015.

At local authority level, the proportion of two year olds registered varies considerably, with the highest proportions found in East Ayrshire (27%), Inverclyde (22%) and Clackmannanshire (21%). Aberdeen City (5%), East Lothian (5%) and Shetland Islands (5%) had the lowest proportions of their two year old populations registered for ELC.

The number of deferred registrations for funded ELC increased by 9% from 5,940 in 2020 to 6,459 in 2021. Of children potentially eligible for a funded place due to deferral, 24% were registered for funded ELC in 2021, compared with 21% in 2020. Five local authorities (Angus, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, Scottish Borders, and Shetland Islands) are currently piloting implementation of entitlement to funded ELC for all children whose school start is deferred[1].

Table 5.1: Registrations (1) for funded early learning and childcare at local authority and partnership centres, September 2021
Under 2 2 year olds 3 & 4 year olds(2) Deferred entry(4) Total
Number % of population Number % of those eligible(3) Number % of those eligible(5)
Aberdeen City 0 113 5 3,055 94 265 24 3,433
Aberdeenshire 4 166 6 4,348 99 355 24 4,873
Angus 0 121 12 1,485 91 192 35 1,798
Argyll and Bute 0 59 9 1,113 106 131 37 1,303
City of Edinburgh 90 508 11 6,389 90 438 19 7,425
Clackmannanshire 1 106 21 803 100 36 13 946
Dumfries and Galloway 0 175 15 2,013 106 190 30 2,378
Dundee City 1 255 18 2,052 96 213 29 2,521
East Ayrshire 55 322 27 1,765 96 114 18 2,256
East Dunbartonshire 15 102 10 1,821 101 178 29 2,116
East Lothian 2 50 5 1,760 105 137 24 1,949
East Renfrewshire 16 66 7 1,693 100 135 23 1,910
Falkirk 0 182 12 2,344 98 246 31 2,772
Fife 0 592 17 5,365 99 347 19 6,304
Glasgow City 57 906 15 8,460 91 569 18 9,992
Highland 0 159 8 3,360 105 573 53 4,092
Inverclyde 50 150 22 1,028 101 63 18 1,291
Midlothian 0 166 15 1,711 96 185 31 2,062
Moray 0 70 8 1,306 103 136 31 1,512
Na h-Eileanan Siar 1 18 8 349 96 53 41 421
North Ayrshire 0 215 18 1,793 95 100 16 2,108
North Lanarkshire 33 368 11 5,181 95 281 16 5,863
Orkney Islands 0 14 8 308 104 48 46 370
Perth and Kinross 0 144 11 1,974 99 206 31 2,324
Renfrewshire 101 335 20 2,729 102 198 22 3,363
Scottish Borders 0 90 9 1,519 94 142 27 1,751
Shetland Islands 0 12 5 354 96 51 40 417
South Ayrshire 19 167 18 1,526 100 95 19 1,807
South Lanarkshire 57 429 14 5,016 100 388 23 5,890
Stirling 7 73 9 1,233 95 89 20 1,402
West Dunbartonshire 46 154 18 1,285 98 91 20 1,576
West Lothian 0 187 10 2,977 94 214 20 3,378
Scotland 555 6,474 13 78,115 97 6,459 24 91,603

(1) This is a snapshot of registrations at census week (13-17 September 2021). It does not include children who were registered between census week and the end of December.

(2) Refers to academic year - three and four year olds were previously referred to as ‘ante pre-school’ and ‘pre-school’ respectively. Three year olds are children born between 1st March 2018 and 31st August 2019, and four year olds are children born between 1st March 2017 and 28th February 2018.

(3) Eligible children are estimated from National Records of Scotland population projections. For three year olds, only around half of children are eligible at the time of the census (13-17 September 2021). Children are counted once for each centre they are registered with, so the same child may be counted multiple times if they attend more than one centre. Children may also attend centres outside of the local authority they live in, which would also affect these figures.

(4) Refers to children who are eligible to attend primary school but have deferred entry and remain in ELC.

(5) Eligibility figures for deferral are calculated on the assumption that all children born from September to February inclusive are potentially eligible for funded ELC if they defer entry to primary school; January and February born children are entitled to the additional year of funded ELC, while for September to December born children, the local authority decides whether to provide it. Children born after school commencement date in mid-August can also defer entry to primary school, but they are not included in the calculation for the percentage of those eligible for deferred entry to avoid double counting with the four year old category. Five local authorities (Angus, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, Scottish Borders, and Shetland Islands) are currently piloting funded ELC for all children whose school start is deferred.

Table 5.2 shows that the overall FTE of teachers, graduates, and staff working towards the SSSC benchmark degree level qualifications in ELC was 5,387 in 2021, an increase of 7% from 5,015 in 2020. The FTE of teachers working in ELC was 704 in 2021, compared with 729 in 2020, a 3% decrease of 24 FTE. The FTE of graduates with degrees relevant to early years working in ELC was 3,150 in 2021, a 16% increase of 429 FTE compared with 2,721 recorded in 2020. The FTE of ELC staff working towards the SSSC benchmark degree level qualifications decreased by 32 FTE to 1,533 in 2021, a 2% decrease compared with 1,565 FTE in 2020.

Table 5.2: Teachers, graduate staff, and staff working towards graduate qualifications at centres providing funded early learning and childcare, by local authority, September 2021, Full Time Equivalent ( FTE) and percentage
Working Total
Teachers (1) Graduates (2) towards graduate qualifications (3) FTE % change since 2019
Aberdeen City 18 105 74 197 20
Aberdeenshire 21 107 77 206 7
Angus 10 45 57 112 17
Argyll and Bute 12 34 16 62 -16
City of Edinburgh 52 290 112 453 -18
Clackmannanshire 3 31 21 55 8
Dumfries and Galloway 12 114 13 139 10
Dundee City 43 61 58 162 29
East Ayrshire 12 121 71 204 30
East Dunbartonshire 35 96 43 175 39
East Lothian 5 38 22 65 2
East Renfrewshire 40 67 35 142 24
Falkirk 5 70 41 116 9
Fife 72 89 68 229 -1
Glasgow City 59 567 213 838 8
Highland 33 44 28 104 12
Inverclyde 10 50 43 103 10
Midlothian 17 62 13 92 -11
Moray 14 36 28 78 -2
Na h-Eileanan Siar 5 9 8 22 59
North Ayrshire 8 100 27 136 -13
North Lanarkshire 5 216 75 296 9
Orkney Islands 4 9 13 27 -1
Perth and Kinross 40 93 60 193 5
Renfrewshire 11 158 61 230 34
Scottish Borders 26 36 21 82 25
Shetland Islands 8 8 6 23 -13
South Ayrshire 34 66 55 155 12
South Lanarkshire 47 200 62 309 3
Stirling 6 84 35 125 1
West Dunbartonshire 17 58 40 115 14
West Lothian 21 86 37 144 21
Scotland 704 3,150 1,533 5,387 7

(1) GTCS registered teachers. Includes teachers in ELC centres, centrally employed teachers, and home visiting teachers.

(2) Includes staff that hold: a degree level benchmark qualification required by the SSSC for registration as a manager/lead practitioner (see background notes for list of benchmark qualifications); a degree level (SCQF level 9) qualification relevant to early years and are working towards a degree level benchmark qualification required by the SSSC for registration as a manager/lead practitioner; or a degree level qualification sufficient to meet the registration standards of another regulatory body (e.g. Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Medical Council).

(3) Staff that do not hold degrees (SCQF level 9) relevant to early years, but are working towards a SSSC benchmark degree level qualification for registration as a manager/lead practitioner.

Table 5.3 shows the characteristics of teachers in ELC centres and centrally employed teachers. The vast majority of teachers (92%) were female. Since 2015, the proportion of male teachers has more than doubled from 3% to 8%.

Table 5.3: ELC Teacher characteristics percentages, 2020, Percentage of headcount
Sex Age
Female Male Under 25 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 54 55 or over Average Age
92 8 1 15 34 33 18 45

Since 2012, the average age of teachers has remained around age 45. Data on age and sex is only available for teachers, although they form only part of the graduate workforce in ELC.

Chart 2 shows the age profile of GTCS registered ELC teachers, as at September 2021. The number of teachers generally increases to age 41, then peaks at ages 41 and 42, before decreasing sharply after age 55, with a small increase at age 59.

Chart 2: Age profile of GTCS registered early learning and childcare teachers

Contact

Email: school.stats@gov.scot

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