Teaching and Classroom Support

Teaching and Classroom Support Image

Do you want a rewarding and stimulating job where no two days are the same? Or would you like to see personal development in people and make a difference to their lives? If so, then you should definitely consider teaching or classroom support as a career.

There’s no doubt that teaching can be an exhausting vocation at times. But, even if your students don’t seem to want to learn, you can rest assured that your enthusiasm for a subject can sow the seeds which can grow throughout a student’s life!

The latest figures from 2023 report that there were 52,221 school based teachers in Scotland, compared to 52,422 in 2022. Around 95% of Scottish schools are state schools, run by the 32 Scottish local authorities. 1

What areas can I work in?

There are many areas that you can work in the education sector: primary school teaching, secondary school teaching, learning support teaching and classroom support, private tutoring or teaching, and college or university lecturing.

To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.

What kind of companies can I work for?

Possible employers include: 

What’s the job market like?

According to the Scottish government, in 2023 there were 201 less teachers working in Scottish schools compared to 2022. The pupil to teacher ratio (PTR) in schools has stayed the same at 13.2%. 1

Demand continues for some subjects including STEM subjects and modern languages. For example the target intake for maths students in 2022/23 was 250 but only 114 was achieved. The target for Chemistry students was 159 but only 48 was achieved. 2

In Scotland’s colleges, employment figures have been relatively stable:  in 2021/22 there were 14,321 staff working in colleges (51% lecturing staff and 49% support staff), 69% of whom worked full time. 3

In Scottish universities, the total number of academic staff for the 2022/23 session was 26,745, an increase of 970 from the previous year. 4

There is work for teachers of English as a Foreign Language in Scotland, as well as elsewhere in the UK and abroad, as more people want to learn to speak English.

Facts and figures

In Scotland in 2023 there were: 

  • 2,582 early learning and childcare centres, 1,988 publicly funded primary schools and 361 publicly funded secondary schools 1
  • 107 Additional Support for Learning (ASL) schools for children who need extra learning or behavioural support 1
  • 25,096 primary teachers, 25,049 secondary teachers, 2,075 teaching in Additional Support for Learning (ASL) schools as well as visiting specialist teachers 1
  • 702 teachers working in early learning and childcare centres 1
  • in the primary sector, 89% of teachers are female. 1

For Scottish FE institutions in 2021/22:

  • there were 24 colleges across 13 regions in Scotland with around 236,730 3
  • 8,690 students progressed onto university (54% onto year 2 or 3) 3
  • 20% of 18-19 year-olds attended full time 3
  • colleges delivered around 13% of all higher education in Scotland. 3

At Scottish HE institutions in 2021/22:

  • the top three areas of study in Scotland, based on enrolment numbers were: business and management (45,020); subjects allied to medicine (36,370); and social sciences (27,060) 5
  • the three institutions with the highest number of Scottish student enrolments were: the Open University (21,200); the University of Glasgow (20,520); and, the University of Strathclyde (18,520). 6

Want to find out more?

You can find out more information about becoming a teacher at the Scottish government Teach in Scotland website. 


1 Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland 2023, Scottish Government (December 2023)

2 Teacher workforce planning 2023 Exercise, Scottish Government (October 2022)

3 Colleges Scotland Key Facts 2023

4 HE staff by HE provider and activity standard occupational classification (Academic) (Scotland, Scotland, 2022/23), HESA

5 HE student enrolments by HE provider and domicile (Scotland, 2021/22), HESA

6 HE student enrolments by subject of study and domicile (Scotland, 2021/22), HESA


Courtesy of GTC Scotland

Career Pathway

Teaching and Classroom Support Career Pathway
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Career Sectors

College or University Lecturing

Education Support

Primary School Teaching

Secondary School Teaching

Teaching - Other