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This statistical publication notice provides results of the first full teacher census in publicly funded schools in...
This statistical publication notice provides results of the first full teacher census in publicly funded schools in Scotland since 1998.

The main findings for September 2003 are:

- The total number of teachers in primary, secondary and special schools was 49,230, which is 818 fewer than in 2002. This reflects falling pupil numbers and is broadly in line with the Scottish Executive's projections. Numbers may also be affected by a change in reporting procedure this year.

- There were also 2,307 teachers in the pre-school sector in the January 2004 census, making a total of 51,537 teachers in schools and pre-schools (157 fewer than in 2002). Additional teachers being trained to meet the Executive's commitment of 53,000 teachers by 2007 had yet to enter the workforce.

- There were a further 1,987 centrally employed visiting specialists and peripatetic teachers and 464 quality improvement officers involved in similar roles but not based in schools.

- There were a further 26,091 school based staff and 2,197 centrally employed staff identified in the staff census as providing support to the education system.

- There were 22,321 teachers in primary schools (22,979 in 2002), giving a pupil teacher ratio of 18.2 (18.0 in 2002). 93 per cent of teachers were female. Eleven per cent were part time.

- There were 24,881 teachers in secondary schools (25,040 in 2002), giving a pupil teacher ratio of 12.8 (12.7 in 2002). 57 per cent of teachers were female. Seven per cent were part time.

- There were 2,027 teachers in special schools (2,028 in 2002), giving a pupil teacher ratio of 3.8 (3.9 in 2002). 82 per cent of teachers were female. Ten per cent were part time.

The average age of teachers was 44. The age profile shows a major peak in the late forties/early fifties. 11 per cent of teachers were age 55 or over.

The information in this publication for 2003 is derived from the September 2003 staff census of all publicly funded primary, secondary and special schools. Information about centrally employed staff was also collected from local authorities. The census was carried out through the Scottish Exchange of Educational Data (ScotXed) project, using information from schools' management information systems. More details on the ScotXed project can be obtained from

Information relating to previous years is derived either from previous staff censuses (the last being in 1998), or from the annual school census, which until 2003 contained summary information on teacher numbers.

There were some teething problems with the first year collection, resulting in the results being published later than originally envisaged. It is hoped that in future years data will become available more quickly. Some variables caused considerable problems, please see the full staff census publication (link below) for details.

There were also problems identifying which supply teachers were covering vacancies and which were covering short term absent staff. This could have lead to some double counting, so a separate check was carried out to ensure the correct total number of teachers. Other results have then been scaled to obtain the correct national total.

Due to the change in method of collection from previous years, and the various difficulties experienced with this first electronic census, caution must be taken in making comparisons with previous years.

Information from the census is used to inform policy making, particularly in modelling the teacher workforce to ensure future supply of newly trained teachers, and for monitoring current policies.

The full publication 'Teachers in Scotland, 2003' is also available here:

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