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Key UK education statistics

BESA has researched and collated the essential data relating to schools within the UK into this handy guide.

BESA routinely conducts additional research into school spending patterns and budgets for our members, and runs briefing sessions and seminars to keep suppliers up to date with latest developments. Find out more about becoming a BESA member.

How many schools are there in the UK?

There are currently 32,163 schools in the UK. Of these, 3,079 are nurseries or early-learning centres, 20,806 are primary schools, 23 are middle schools and 4,190 are secondary schools. There are 2,461 independent schools, 1,546 special schools, 57 non-maintained special schools and 348 pupil referral units (PRUs).

Most of the UK’s schools are in England. There are 24,413 schools in England – including 388 nurseries, 16,791 primary schools, 3,458 secondary schools, 2,366 independent schools, 1,005 special schools, 57 non-maintained special schools and 348 pupil referral units (PRUs).

There are 1,553 schools in Wales – including 9 nursery schools, 1,219 primary schools, 23 middle schools, 182 secondary schools, 80 independent schools and 40 special schools.

There are 5,052 schools in Scotland, including 2,630 early learning centres, 2,001 primary schools, 357 secondary schools and 111 special schools.

There are 1,123 schools in Northern Ireland, including 94 nursery schools, 784 primary schools, 192 secondary schools, 39 special schools and 14 independent schools.

How many Multi Academy Trusts are there?

There are currently 1,170 Multi Academy Trusts in England that manage at least two schools. 29 MATs have 26 or more schools, 85 have between 12-25 schools and 259 have 6-11 schools. The majority of MATs – 598– have five or fewer schools.

How many pupils are there in the UK?

There are currently 10,533,613 full and part time pupils at school in the UK. 8,911,853 in England, 484,579 in Wales, 796,326 in Scotland, 344,402 in Northern Ireland.

How many teachers are there in the UK?

There are currently 636,327 full-time teachers in the UK. 267,140 work in primary schools, 253,468 work in secondary schools, 78,981 work in independent schools and 28,674 work in special schools.

There are 530,172 teachers working in England, 23,941 teachers working in Wales, 54,285 teachers working in Scotland and 18,916 teachers working in Northern Ireland.

30.5% of these teachers are male, and 69.5% are female. However, at primary school level, this rises to 82.4% female – a proportion that is steadily increasing.

How big is a UK school’s budget?

The average primary school budget in 2019/20 is £1,162,000, a 3.1% increase on the previous year. The average secondary school budget in 2019/20 is £4,914,000, a 1.9% increase on the previous year.

How much is spent on resources each year?

The average primary school spent £42,970 on school resources (recurrent and capital) in 2019/20 a 0.6% increase on the previous year. The average secondary school spent £179,780 on resources in 2019/20 a 1.4% increase on the previous year.

How many computers are there in UK classrooms?

In total there are predicted to be 5,090,000 computers in UK classrooms in 2021. There are predicted to be 2,622,000 in primary schools and 2,457,000 in secondary schools. The average primary school has 119.9 computers and the average secondary school has 568,7.

How many FE institutions are there?

In total, there are 277 FE colleges in the UK, of which 45 are sixth-form colleges. 232 of these are in England, 13 in Wales, 26 in Scotland and 6 in Northern Ireland.

How many universities are there?

In total, there are 141 universities in the UK. 110 of these are in England, 8 in Wales, 19 in Scotland and 3 in Northern Ireland.