When it comes to education systems in Europe, UK students hold fifth place in average scores, outperformed only by students in Ireland, Poland, Finland, and Estonia.

What’s more:

Education statistics in the UK show some improvement in the rankings, as the UK scored higher than Germany for the first time in 2018

That being said:

With only 4.6% of GDP allocated to education, the average spending on state schools could definitely use a boost, as the gap between private and public schools is as constant and detrimental as it ever was.

At Mark in Style, we decided to see what the stats have to say about the current state of the field.

Fascinating Education Statistics in the UK (Editor’s Choice)

  • There are over 10 million pupils in the United Kingdom.
  • There were 506,400 full-time teachers in the UK in 2019.
  • There are 40% more female than male teachers in British schools.
  • Young women are 36% more likely to go to university than young men.
  • The average spending per student in a private primary school is £12,200 a year and £4,800 in a state-funded one.
  • The student-teacher ratio in the UK is 16:4.
  • There are 142 universities and 381 FE colleges in the UK.

General UK Education Statistics

1. There were 32,095 schools in the UK in the 2018/2019 academic year. 


How many schools are there in the UK? 

The total number of schools in the UK in 2018/2019 was 32,095 according to Department for Education statistics. Most of these schools were nursery and primary level. 

2. How many primary schools are there in England? 

(Besa, DfE)

The number of primary schools in the UK is 20,832 while the number of secondary schools in the UK is 4,188, which means there’s no shortage of primary and secondary school teaching jobs.

Out of those, 16,769 primary schools are in England. 

In fact, most of the schools in the United Kingdom are located in England. Out of the total of 24,323 schools in England, 391 are nurseries, 3,448 are secondary schools, and there are 16,769 primaries.

There are 2,319 independent schools. The number of schools classified as special schools was 1,044, and there were 352 pupil referral units.

3. How many schools are there in Wales? 


The total number of schools in Wales is 1,569. Out of those, 9 are nursery schools, 1,238 are primary schools, 19 are middle schools, and 187 are secondary schools.

Additionally, there are 75 independent schools and 41 special schools.

4. How many schools are there in Scotland?


There are 5,046 schools in Scotland, including 2,544 early learning centers, 2,012 primary schools, 357 secondary schools, and 133 special schools.

5. How many schools are there in Northern Ireland? 


Looking at Northern Ireland, there are 1,832 schools in total. Out of those, 770 are nursery schools, 813 are primary schools, and 196 are secondary schools.

There are 14 independent schools and 39 special schools. 

6. How many schools are there in London?

(London Education Report)

Looking at London alone, there are over 3,000 schools. As many as 92% of state schools are marked as good/outstanding. The number of students in schools that are marked less than good is 97,000.

What’s more:

57% of London students are meeting or exceeding the reading, writing, and maths standards, performing above the national average of 52%.

7. The majority of Multi-Academy Trusts in England have under five schools.


There were 1,170 Multi-Academy Trusts in England that had at least two schools, with the largest number of MATs having five or less,  598 of them.

On the higher end, 29 of them have above 26 schools, 85 are in the 12-25  range, and 259 are in the range between 6-11 schools.

education statistics uk

8. There are over 10 million students in the United Kingdom.

(DfE, Besa)

The total number of students in the UK in the school year 2018/19, full or part-time, was 10,320,811

Out of those, 8,819,765 live in England, 468,838 live in Wales, 693,251 in Scotland, and 338,957 are residents of Northern Ireland.

9. There were 506,400 teachers in the UK in 2018/19.


The number of teachers in the UK in 2018/19 was 506,400, looking at those employed full-time.

Out of those, 216,500 teachers work in primary schools and 208,300 in secondary schools.

Independent schools employ 61,500 teachers, and 16,700 teachers are the employees of special schools.


We see a decrease of 1344 for full-time teachers from 2016/17, a drop of 0.3%. This trend has been happening in primary, nursery, and secondary schools, while non-maintained and special schools are witnessing a rise in full-time teachers, 2% and 1.6%, respectively. 

10. There are 40% more female than male teachers in UK schools.


The historical gender gap in education in the UK is still very much evident, as gender and education statistics for the UK tell us.

Here’s the thing:

Only 30.5% of all teachers are male, while the remaining 69.5% are female. The numbers are even higher looking at the primary school level, where this number is a staggering 82.4% in favour of the female teachers.

11. The student-teacher ratio in the UK is 16:4.

(DfE, Besa)

Reported to be one of the highest in Europe, the student-teacher ratio in the United Kingdom rose from 16:2 in 2016/17 to 16:4 the following year.

Alarmingly, a rise to 20:6 in the ratio in 2017/18 from 20:3 in 2016/17 was seen in primary schools, while secondary schools went from 15:3 to 15:6 during that same year.

In England, the recorded ratio went slightly up from 16:2 to 16:4, which is the same as the national average. The corresponding figures in Northern Ireland went from 17:8 to 17:9 in and dropped in Scotland from 14:0 to 13:9.

The student-teacher ratio in Wales stayed the same, 18:4

The average secondary school size in the UK stood at 948 students in 2018. Click To Tweet

Primary schools had 281 students on average, while special schools had 114.

12. The average primary school budget is £1,048,000.


The budget for primary schools on average was £1,048,000 in 2016/17, which was a 1.6% rise from the year before. Secondary schools had an average budget of £4,617,000, noticing a 0.7% rise from the previous year.

13. The average spending on school resources is £41,780 per primary school, education statistics for the UK reveal.


Spending on school resources in primary schools was £41,780 on average in 2017, a cut of  3.5% compared to the previous year. 

Meanwhile, secondary schools spent £172,560 on average, seeing a 5.7% drop compared to the year before.

14. There are 142 universities and 381 Further Education colleges in the UK.

(Besa, DfE)

The total number of universities in the United Kingdom is 142. Out of those, 117 are located in England, 15 in Scotland, 8 in Wales, and 2 in Northern Ireland.

The number of further education colleges is 381, with 94 of them being sixth-form colleges, which offer some pretty lucrative sixth form college jobs. Out of the total number, 335 are in England, 27 in Scotland, 13 in Wales, and 6 in Northern Ireland. 

15. Business and administrative studies are the most popular in HE, with 293,000 full-time students.


When it comes to what students choose the most popular subject in uni, Business & Administrative Studies were way ahead with 293,000 full-time students, higher education statistics reveal.

DFE publications tell us a rise in entries to science subjects had been recorded in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland has seen a change in language entries, with more students picking up Gaelic classes, while French and German entries reported a decline.

At the same time, Wales and Northern Ireland have reported a decrease in French and Spanish classes.

England marks the highest rise in computing classes, and Northern Ireland reports that subject to have the second-highest rise in A levels, even if the overall IT classes are seeing a decline on average in the UK.

16. The average educational attainment in the UK shows a score of 44.6. per student. 


Educational attainment in the UK statistics report up to 70.3% of students in the final year of compulsory schooling had 5 or more GCSE passes at grade A*-C, English and maths at NQF Level 2 included. In England in the year 2015/16, that number was 67.9%.

DFE data shows that up to 61.2% of those who left school after the 2016/17 academic year was over had at least one qualification at SCQF Level 6 or higher. It marks a slight drop from 61.7% in 2015/16.

There are differences in qualifications and methodology in all the countries, so comparisons are not precise or advisable. 

17. Young women are 36% more likely to go to university than young men, education statistics UK confirm.

(The Guardian)

When it comes to gender, women perform better and score higher than men in all categories. 

What’s more:

The gap widens the higher up one looks at education levels. This trend goes hand in hand with the difference in numbers, as female students outnumber males in higher education levels.

Observing the gender gap in education, school statistics for the UK show 27.3% of boys finishing school are expected to enroll in colleges, while that figure is 37.1% for girls.

The difference is exceptionally prominent in nursing courses, where only 1 out of 28 students is male.

18. UK higher education statistics report there were 2.5 million students in HE in 2018 in the United Kingdom.

(DfE, Independent)

University acceptance rates vary significantly among institutions.

That being said:

Department for Education statistics show two-thirds of students were working on their first degrees. Those on masters studies were one in five, one in twenty were doing a PhD, and one in eight were in the rest of the undergraduate courses.

Interestingly, one of the notable school facts is that the only place where the gender gap favours men is PhD studies, where 52% of students are male.

19. Up to 11.3% of young people aged 16 to 24 were not in education, employment, or training in the UK in 2018.


UK education statistics note that rate has remained the same over the years, but there was a shift looking at gender. DFE statistics show the number of men not in education, training, or employment saw a decrease of 0.9%, while the number of women rose by 1%.

20. Free schools get 60% more funding per student than local authority schools.

(The Guardian)

Primary school statistics show the average spending on one student in a private primary school is £12,200 a year, while for a state-funded one it is £4,800. And free schools still get 60% more than local authority schools. 

That fact allows but a glimpse at the world of inequality in the education system, but looking at the history of education in the UK is a huge topic on its own.

And that’s not all:

School statistics show students receiving pupil premium and school meals are 27% less likely to have more than five GCSEs at grades A* to C in all subjects, including English and mathematics.

According to the working-class education statistics, around 20% of working-class and minority children are being taught in schools with large numbers of other disadvantaged students, receiving less funding and lower quality of staff.

Social class and education statistics in the UK show about 6% of all children in Britain attend private schools. And while children coming from all income levels can be found in the private education sector, the majority come from high earning households.

People Also Ask

What is the average education level in the UK?

The education rate in the UK shows that 35% of all people aged 25-64 have a degree. With the qualifications and methodologies varying from country to country, the overall education levels are sometimes hard to determine.

The pass rate of students in 2017 was 66.6%. The proportion of GCSE entries awarded a high pass grade of A/7 was 20% in 2017. Consistently, girls have had a higher pass rate for the last 20 years.

How many schools are there in the UK?

According to the Department for Education statistics, there were 32,095 schools in the United Kingdom in 2018/19

How many schools are there in England?

There were 24,323 schools in England in 2018/19.

How many school pupils are there in the UK?

There were 10,320,811 students enrolled in schools across the UK in 2018/19

The number of pupils in 2019 in England was 8,819,765, 468,838 in Wales, 693,251 in Scotland, and 338,957 in Northern Ireland.

How many teachers are there in the UK?

In 2018/19, there were 506,400 teachers working full-time in the United Kingdom. 216,500 of them were working in primary schools, 208,300 in secondary schools, 61,500 in independent schools, and 16,700 were employed in special schools.


The biggest challenge the education statistics in the UK reveal is definitely the differences in classification and methodology in different areas of the United Kingdom. The lack of unified scales across the board makes a direct comparison of student performance quite challenging. 

That being said:

The biggest disparities are in funding and providing equal chances for all classes of students, even in state schools.





The Guardian

The Guardian

The Guardian

The Independent



Revise Sociology



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Job Quick Search