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 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 2021 report that there were 53,581 school teachers in Scotland (excluding early
learning and child care centre teachers), compared to 52,672 in 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?

According to the Scottish government, in 2021 there were 885 more teachers working in Scottish schools
compared to the previous. The pupil teacher ratio (PTR) in schools has overall decreased from 13.3% in 2020 to 13.2% in 2021. However, early learning and child care centre teacher numbers fell by 24 from 2020, to 704 in 2021.

Because there continues to be demand in subject areas such as Maths, Chemistry, Computing, and Physics, the Scottish Government, in conjunction with universities that provide Initial Teacher Education (ITE), accredited 12 new routes into teaching to try and encourage more people into the profession.

In Scotland’s colleges, employment figures have been relatively stable: in 2020-21, there were 5,529 lecturing staff and 5,453 support staff, of whom 68% of worked full time.

In Scottish universities, the total number of academic staff for the 2020-21 session was 24,940, an increase of 690 from the previous year.

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 2021 there were:
• 2,630 early learning and child care centres, 2,001 primary schools and 357 secondary schools
• 114 Additional Support for Learning (ASL) schools for children who need extra learning or behavioural support
• 25,807 primary teachers, 24,782 secondary teachers, 2,005 teaching in Additional Support for Learning
(ASL) schools as well as visiting specialist teachers.
• 307,215 students attended Scottish HEIs and Colleges in 2019-20 - the highest number on record and an increase of 1.5% from the previous year.
• overall student satisfaction for 2021 was 88.6% for full time students and 92.2% for part time.
At Scottish HE institutions in 2021:
• the top three areas of study based on enrolment numbers were: business and administration studies (24,660); subjects allied to medicine (15,865); and social sciences (15,980)
• the three institutions with the highest number of Scottish student enrolments were: the University of
Strathclyde (18,240); the Open University (21,595); and the University of Glasgow (19,215).

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