Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Independent School Census

This document contains the results of the annual census of independent schools in Scotland. The results relate to September 2005.

The main findings are:

There were 30,321 pupils in independent schools in Scotland, 67 more than in 2004. This net difference consists of an increase of 24 in primary and 43 in secondary schools, with the number in special schools remaining constant from 2004.
Four per cent of all school pupils in Scotland were in independent schools. Numbers in independent schools have remained fairly steady in recent years, compared to a decrease in the population (Chart 1).
There were a total of 3,354 teachers, an increase of 52 over the 2004 figure. The average (mean) age of teachers was 44. The age profile shows a slight peak in the early fifties, with 18 per cent of teachers aged 55 or over. Of those who returned information, 88 per cent of teachers were registered with the General Teaching Council – Scotland. Primary schools
There were 60 independent primary schools in 2005 compared with 63 in 2004 and 62 in 2003 (table 9).
There were 11,592 pupils in independent primary schools in 2005, an increase of 0.2 per cent from 2004. Numbers have fluctuated between 11,559 and 11,844 in recent years (table 9).
There were 906 teachers (FTE) in independent primary schools in 2005, an increase of 3 from 2004. This equates to 12.8 pupils per teacher in 2005, the same as in 2004 (table 9). Secondary schools
There were 57 secondary schools in 2005, compared to 55 in 2004. The number of independent secondary schools had previously decreased from 63 in 1999 (table 17).
There were 17,597 pupils in independent secondary schools in 2005, an increase of 0.2 per cent from 2004. The number of pupils has remained fairly steady in recent years (table 17).
There were 2,119 teachers (FTE) in independent secondary schools in 2005, an increase of 54 from 2004. There were 8.3 pupils per teacher in 2005, compared with 8.5 in 2004 (table 17).
Special schools

There were 33 independent special schools in 2005, compared to 34 schools in 2004, and 33 in 2003 (table 23).
There were 1,132 pupils in independent special schools in 2005, the same as in 2004 (table 23). Most pupils in independent special schools are funded by local authorities.
There were 330 teachers (FTE) in independent special schools in 2005, a slight decrease from 2004. There were 3.4 pupils per teacher in 2005, the same as in 2004 (table 23).
Special Educational Needs

In primary and secondary schools there were 462 pupils (1.6 per cent) with a Record of Needs and/or an Individualised Educational Programme. This compares with 300 in 2004, the increase being mainly due to an improvement in reporting. The largest categories of main difficulty of learning were specific learning difficulties in language and/or mathematics – including dyslexia (11.2 per 1,000 pupils) and moderate learning difficulties (2.7 per 1,000 pupils).
In special schools the largest categories of main difficulty of learning were social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (66 per cent) and autistic spectrum disorder (15 per cent).
Under The Registration of Independent Schools (Scotland) Regulations 1957 as amended, independent schools are required each year to supply certain statistics to the Scottish Executive. This census covers independent primary, secondary and special schools.

Results of the census of publicly funded schools is available from the following link

Information on leaver destinations for independent schools are published in

Where a school has more than one department, for example a secondary school with a primary department, these are counted as separate schools. There were 102 different independent schools open at the time of the census compared to the figure of 150 in this publication. There was also one further school open on census date but for whom registration came through too late to be included in the census. 4. Where numbers of pupils/students are given, these relate to pupils based at the school. Pupils/students who are attending the school but are based at another centre (for example, students from a Further Education College who are taking some classes at a school) are not included.

A class is a group of pupils normally supervised by one teacher. The group may occasionally be supervised by more than one teacher, for example, when pupils are receiving learning support from a teacher who is not the class teacher. 6. A composite class is a class of pupils from two or more stages. The class size statistics published here do not include the small number of classes for pupils with learning difficulties. 7. A Record of Needs (RoN) is provided for a child who has “pronounced, specific or complex special educational needs which require continuing review”. The RoN contains the child’s details; the details of the parent/guardian and “named person” (someone to represent them); an assessment profile; a summary of the child/young person’s impairments; a description of the special educational needs arising from the impairments; a statement of the measures proposed by the education authority; the name of the school to be attended; a summary of the views of the parent/guardian; the date the record was opened and a summary of the reviews of the record; and a note of who is allowed to access the record. Following the implementation of the Additional Support for Learning Act, information in this area will change for the 2006 independent school census. 8. Individualised Educational Programmes (IEPs) are written plans setting targets that a child, with special educational needs, is expected to achieve. Targets should be limited in number and focus on key priorities of learning. They should be simple, clearly expressed and measurable.

The following symbol is used: – = zero or rounds to zero

n/a = not available

All percentages are rounded separately and breakdowns may consequently not sum to 100 per cent. 11. This is a National Statistics publication. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference 12. This report was edited by Mal Cooke, Louise Flanagan, Matt Flanagan and Colin Gallacher. 12. All tables are available on the Scottish Executive website at:


Public enquiries (non-media) about the information contained in this notice should be addressed to Mal Cooke, Education and Children Statistics Unit, Area 1-B, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ, tel. 0131 244 1689

Source-Scottish Executive

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