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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 32,028 schools in the UK. Of these, 3,069 are nurseries or early-learning centres, 20,807 are primary schools, 22 are middle schools and 4,190 are secondary schools. There are 2,345 independent schools, 1,536 special schools, 58 non-maintained special schools and 349 pupil referral units (PRUs).

Most of the UK’s schools are in England. There are 24,360 schools in England – including 389 nurseries, 16,784 primary schools, 3,456 secondary schools, 2,331 independent schools, 1,342 special schools, 58 non-maintained special schools and 349 pupil referral units (PRUs).

There are 1,480 schools in Wales – including 9 nursery schools, 1,225 primary schools, 22 middle schools, 183 secondary schools, 75 independent schools and 41 special schools.

There are 5,052 schools in Scotland, including 2,576 early learning centres, 2,004 primary schools, 358 secondary schools and 114 special schools.

There are 1,136 schools in Northern Ireland, including 95 nursery schools, 794 primary schools, 193 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 10,320,811 full and part time pupils at school in the UK. 8,890,357 in England, 469,176 in Wales, 794,364 in Scotland, 341,402 in Northern Ireland.

How many teachers are there in the UK?

There are currently 624,520 full-time teachers in the UK. 264,804 work in primary schools, 247,378 work in secondary schools, 76,442 work in independent schools and 27,883 work in special schools.

There are 530,172 teachers working in England, 23,594 teachers working in Wales, 52,247 teachers working in Scotland and 18,506 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 3,326,000 computers in UK classrooms in 2019. There are 1,657,000 in primary schools and 1,669,000 in secondary schools. The average primary school has 75.4 computers and the average secondary school has 386.6.

How many FE institutions are there?

In total, there are 381 FE colleges in the UK, of which 94 are sixth-form colleges. 335 of these are in England, 13 in Wales, 27 in Scotland and 6 in Northern Ireland.

How many universities are there?

In total, there are 142 universities in the UK. 117 of these are in England, 8 in Wales, 15 in Scotland and 2 in Northern Ireland.