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Private numbers ease off

The number of pupils in independent schools in Scotland has fallen slightly but the decline is at a slower rate than in state schools, new figures published by the Scottish Executive show.

The annual census of independent schools in Scotland for 2004 shows that last year there were 30,254 pupils in the sector - 90 fewer than in 2003.

Some 4 per cent of all pupils in Scotland attend independent schools.

There were 63 independent primary schools (compared with 74 in 1997 and 62 in 2003) and the average pupil-teacher ratio was 12.8 (against 13 in 2003).

There were 55 independent secondary schools in 2004, the same number as the previous year. In 1999, there were 63 secondaries. There were 8.5 pupils per teacher in 2004, the same ratio as in the previous two years.

There were 1,132 pupils in independent special schools last year - an increase of 8 per cent over 2003.

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