Scottish Government
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Independent schools census

The results of the annual census of independent schools in Scotland were published today. The findings relate to September 2006.

The main findings are:

  • There were 30,519 pupils in independent schools in Scotland, 198 more than in 2005. This net difference consists of a decrease of 16 in primary and 29 in special schools and an increase of 243 in secondary schools from 2005
  • The number of pupils in independent schools has remained fairly stable over the past decade, compared to a decrease in the population. There has therefore been a slow but steady increase in the percentage of school pupils who are in independent schools, from 3.9 per cent of pupils in independent schools in 2000 to 4.2 per cent in 2006
  • There were a total of 3,373 teachers, an increase of 19 over the 2005 figure. This equates to 9.0 pupils per teacher in 2006, the same as in 2005. The average (mean) age of teachers was 44. The age profile shows a slight peak in the early fifties, with 20 per cent of teachers aged 55 or over. Eighty-five per cent of teachers were registered with the General Teaching Council - Scotland

Primary pupils

  • There were 61 independent primary schools in 2006 compared with 60 in 2005 and 63 in 2004
  • There were 11,576 pupils in independent primary schools in 2006, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from 2005. Numbers have fluctuated between 11,559 and 11,844 in recent years

Secondary pupils

  • There were 55 secondary schools in 2006, compared to 57 in 2005. The number of independent secondary schools had previously decreased from 63 in 1999
  • There were 17,840 pupils in independent secondary schools in 2006, an increase of 1.4 per cent from 2005. The number of pupils has remained fairly steady in recent years

Special pupils

  • There were 34 independent special schools in 2006, compared to 33 schools in 2005, and 34 in 2004
  • There were 1,103 pupils in independent special schools in 2006, a decrease of 29 from 2005 (table 4.1). Ninety-seven per cent of pupils in independent special schools are funded by local authorities

Additional Support Needs

  • In mainstream independent schools there were 457 pupils (1.6 per cent of all mainstream pupils) with a Coordinated Support Plan (CSP), an Individualised Educational Programme (IEP) and/or with provision levels set by a Record of Needs (RoN) pre-dating the implementation of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004. There were also 1,943 (6.6 per cent) non-recorded pupils with additional support needs in independent mainstream schools
  • For 2006 information on pupils' additional support needs may be recorded under the old categories (of main difficulty of learning) or new categories (of reason for support). Although the two systems do not directly map onto each other and there is some risk of double counting (where schools may have reported under both systems) it is possible to get an approximate value for the total level of additional support needs by combining the two sets of data
  • Among pupils in mainstream independent schools the most commonly recorded support needs across the two systems were learning difficulties in language and mathematics (including dyslexia) (8.6 per 1,000 pupils) and learning difficulties (3.9 per 1,000 pupils)
  • In special schools the most prevalent categories were social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (155 per 1,000 pupils) and learning difficulties in language and mathematics (including dyslexia) (106 per 1,000 pupils)

Schools

  • There were 101 independent schools open in September 2006, however 49 of these schools had both a primary and secondary department ('through' schools)

Teachers

  • There were 2,747 teachers (FTE) in independent through schools (9.7 pupils per teacher), 129 teachers (FTE) in independent primary only schools (11.9 pupils per teacher) and 218 teachers (FTE) in independent secondary only schools (8.8 pupils per teacher)
  • There were 349 teachers (FTE) in independent special schools. This equates to 3.2 pupils per teacher Tables