Teaching and Classroom Support

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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 doubting though that teaching can also be an exhausting vocation at times. But, even if your students don’t seem to want to learn, you can be rest assured that your enthusiasm for a subject can sow seeds which can grow right through life! 

In 2019 there were 52,247 teachers in Scotland, an increase of 288 from the previous year. Around 95% of Scottish schools are state schools, run by the 32 Scottish local authorities.

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?

Although the number of teachers working in Scottish schools increased by 288 from 2018, there continues to be a shortage, particularly in the following subjects: English, Maths, Chemistry, Computing, Gaelic, Home Economics, Physics, Religious and Moral Education and Technology.

The Scottish Government, in conjunction with universities that provide Initial Teacher Education (ITE), have accredited 12 new routes into teaching to try and encourage more people into the profession. During academic years 2017-18 and 2018-19 these alternative routes have successfully attracted 799 participants who may not otherwise have considered entering or returning to the teaching profession in Scotland.

The pupil teacher ratio (PTR) in schools overall stayed the same in 2019 as in 2017/18 at 13.6.

The number of full time teaching staff at Scotland's colleges in 2018-19 stood at 10,995 an increase of 13 over the figure for the 2017-18 academic session, and the five year trend from 2014-15 saw an increase of 1.5%. In Scottish universities, the number of academic staff for the 2018-19 session was 23,580, an increase of 750 on the 2017-18 figure.

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

Facts and figures

In Scotland in 2019 there were:

At Scottish FE institutions in 2019:

At Scottish HE institutions in 2019:

Want to find out more?

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



Courtesy of GTC Scotland

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Career Sectors

College or University Lecturing

Education Support

Primary School Teaching

Secondary School Teaching

Teaching - Other