Teacher number in Scottish schools is highest since 2008 and ratio far better than in England

Hundreds of new Scottish teachers are quitting profession or moving abroad  - The Sunday Post
Dougie Nicholson / DC Thomson

From the Scottish Government today:

The total number of full time equivalent teachers has risen to its highest figure since 2008, official statistics confirm. New figures have revealed that there were 53,400 teachers employed in early learning and childcare, primary, secondary and special schools or centrally employed.

This is 1,153 more than the 2019 total (52,247). Average class size in primary schools fell to their smallest since 2012, down to 23.1 from 23.5 in 2019. The 2020 pupil teacher ratio for all publicly funded schools was 13.3, an improvement on 2019 when it was 13.6.


The ratio in Primary schools is now 15.4 pupils to 1 teacher and in Secondary schools, 12.5 to 1.

Click to access summary-statistics-schools-scotland.pdf

In England:

  • In state-funded primary schools, the PTR has remained at 20.9 in both 2018 and 2019 despite a continued increased in pupil numbers.
  • In state-funded secondary schools, the PTR has risen from 16.3 in 2018 to 16.6 in 2019, continuing the trend of year-on-year increases seen since 2012.


Note, the English figures include unqualified teachers (!)

10 thoughts on “Teacher number in Scottish schools is highest since 2008 and ratio far better than in England

  1. I am sure that there will be a tweet from ‘a-teacher-who-wishes-to-remain-anonymous’, telling us that ‘classes are bursting at the seams’ and this will be the GMS lead story, with prompts being fed to EIS and SSTA Secretaries (‘Top Education Leaders)’ to say that ‘their members are ‘at breaking point’ and 1005% of them, according to a recent poll ‘we commissioned’ are ready to ‘leave the profession they love.’

    Liked by 2 people


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brian, You may be interested – for a similar sort of purpose in future – in data on Council Tax comparisons between Scotland, England and Wales across the period since the introduction of this tax in the early 1990s.

      It’s available from the ‘IFS Fiscal Facts’ web page under ‘Local taxes – Council Tax’.

      See: https://www.ifs.org.uk/tools_and_resources/fiscal_facts

      Only just found this (‘trusted’) source. The time series data make for creating a compelling graph in the context of charges of ‘highest taxed’ nation in the UK!


  3. Aye Obadiah, “…and if you tell that to the young people today, they won’t believe you…”, while most of northern England does…. Must be DRossly discomforting for the dishonourable etc in Pacifier Quay..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All things aside there are 4 fundamental factors that determine the success of each and all nations
    3.The Citizens Properly fed
    4.A decent roof abin yer heid
    Would be interesting for someone to make a comparitive table and stastical graph of the
    above for Scotland and England and since the SNP came to power
    There is no doubt
    1.Our education is outstripping England
    2.Health diito
    3.Child and food poverty ditto
    4.Modern social housing
    Each segment of the above could be cleverly sub divided into and categorised EG.
    A.Hospital beds / head of population
    B.Snr.medical staff / head of population
    C.Hospital infections / 100 k of admissions
    D. Child mortality
    Repeat for Housing
    A.Social housing completion
    B.Ave.Rent costs of above inc.of all freehold,lease and factor costs
    C.Ave age and condition of housing
    D. Level of overcrowding
    The list goes on and on
    Why do you think The Republic of Ireland is now roaring ahead of the UK in terms of economic success,state benefits and productivity
    Yes all because they were well aware of such
    And had with very limited resources had these foundations laid for the time they became EU members finally cutting their economic shackles that had them severely bound even after Independence to England
    Once in the EU they had the right of a veto
    To any new major social & economic laws that did not suit their objectives but mainly that of the UK
    If this was done then forever and a day we can show Boris,Jacob Ress.Jdross and all their media,celebrity and Business cohorts
    That it is indeed that Westminster is grossly failing their English subjects and us
    And although we too are also subjects and not citizens that indeed with very limited powers especially fiscal that with the SNP in charge that success in laying very strong foundations can & will lead to a very successful
    Building of a prosperous healthy educated equitable nation taking its own global and environmental responsibilities in a manner that shall become a shining beacon for the whole world
    And as such tis not only we that requires independence but the rest of humanity


  5. A few days ago there were calls from opposition MSPs for an additional 2000 teachers to help with the workload caused by Covid and Covid related absences. No word of where the additional teachers were to be found and no mention of the increase in teacher numbers that has already taken place.

    Meanwhile this from the Guardian online
    In some areas attendance is as low as 37% while in others it is 90%.

    In Scotland the figures from PHS are:
    On Friday 11 December 2020, provisional figures show that:

    there were 26,070 pupils absent either for all or part of the school day because of COVID-19 related reasons.
    the overall attendance rate at local authority primary, secondary and special schools was 88.9%.
    % of school openings where pupils were not in school for COVID-19 related reasons was 3.8%, and for non COVID-19 related reasons was 7.3%.””

    There is likely to be local variation within the overall attendance figure of 88.9% but still…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The ConDems, Cameron and Clegg, cut Education funding £6Billion a year from 2015 to 2020. £30Billion. Elected to protect education, they cut funding. The Scottish Gov had to mitigate the cuts. Increased support for students. Increased nursery funding. Apprenticeships and life long learning. More universities pro rata in the world. 15 pop 5.4million. Colleges as well. Skilled tradespeople make a good living.

    Westminster total mismanagement of Scottish revenues and resources. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion has cost Scotland dear. Monies which could have been better spent. Westminster total incompetence. Killing people. Brexit catastrophe.


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