More pupils, fewer schools and less money: the UK education system in numbers

9th November 2017 at 11:14
dfe stats
£86.3 billion was spent on education in the UK in 2016-17, which is a real terms reduction of 2.3 per cent over four years.

The shape and size of the education system in the UK has been revealed in statistics on education and training published by the Department for Education today.

The statistics show that total expenditure on education across the United Kingdom in 2016-17 was £86.3 billion – a reduction in real terms of 2.3 per cent compared to 2012-13.

And there were 2,602 fewer schools in the UK in 2016-17 than in 2000-01.

But, as the number of schools has fallen, the number of pupils has grown.

There are now 32,113 schools in the UK, of which 76 per cent are in England.

In 2012-13, there were 32,401 schools in the United Kingdom and 9.79 million pupils.

In 2016-17, there were 32,113 schools and 10.26 million pupils

The statistics also show that:

1. There are more primary pupils but fewer schools than four years ago

Since 2012-13, 228 schools have closed, of which 144 were primary schools.  However, the number of primary school pupils has increased by 8.5 per cent, from 5.1 million pupils in 2012-13 to 5.5 million pupils in 2016-17.

2. Pupil referral units have seen a big rise in numbers

The number of pupils in pupil referral units (PRU) rose by 3,900 (32.8 per cent) to 15,670 between 2012-13 and 2016-17.

3. Maintained special schools are taking more pupils

The number of pupils in maintained special schools has increased by 18,800 (17.4 per cent) to 126,720 pupils between 2012-13 and 2016-17. But the number of pupils in non-maintained special schools has dropped by 400 during the same period to 3,755.

4. The number of teachers has decreased

The number of full-time teachers has dropped by 3,343 between 2015-16 and 2016-17 to 506,400. This has been partly offset by an increase in the contribution of part-time teachers, meaning the number of full-time equivalent teachers has dropped by 739 over the same period.

5. The fall in the number of Neets may have stalled

The percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (Neet) has fallen each year between 2012 and 2016. But while the numbers for over-18s has fallen in each of these years, there was a small rise in the number of 16- and 17-year-olds without jobs or education in the last year.

6. Pupils in England are less likely to leave compulsory schooling with the expected standard of education than in other parts of the UK – but the standards are different

In England, 53.5 per cent of pupils in 2016 had five GCSEs at A*-C grade including English and maths without retakes at the end of compulsory schooling, typically aged 16.

In Wales, 60.3 per cent of pupils in 2016 had five GCSEs at A*-C grade including English and maths including retakes at the end of compulsory schooling, typically aged 16.

In Scotland, 61.9 per cent of school leavers – who could be between 16 or 18 – had obtained Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Level 6 or better.

In Northern Ireland, 67.9 per cent of pupils had five GCSEs at A*-C grade including English and maths including retakes at the end of compulsory schooling, typically aged 16.

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