The SCN will bring major child protection benefits by allowing pupil records containing key information to be quickly shared between schools and councils.
It will also particularly benefit the Children Missing Education project, launched last year to help find children who have disappeared from the education system. Since its launch in August, the project has successfully traced 114 children referred to them by councils.
Deputy Education Minister Robert Brown said:
'In today's society, child protection is of the utmost importance, so it's extremely important that key pupil information can be shared quickly and effectively between authorities.
'That's why simple measures such as the SCN are so important. These unique numbers will improve existing procedures, helping to ensure that our children are kept safe and well.'
The SCN as a unique pupil identifier has already been introduced into all publicly funded secondary schools in Scotland, and is currently being developed for use in primary and special schools by the summer.
Numbers will be available to issue to all new pupils starting primary one or entering into the Scottish education system from the summer of this year. The Executive's Children Missing Education project was launched in August 2005.
The SCN was originally allocated to pupils, usually in third year of secondary school, as a unique identifier for SQA exam presentation purposes. It's now being rolled out to include all pupils in publicly funded schools in Scotland to form the basis of the unique identifier system.