TEACHER numbers in Renfrewshire have dropped slightly in the last year, according to new Scottish Government figures.

There are now 1,674 teachers working across the area’s primary, secondary and special schools, including those centrally employed – a loss of two since 2018.

It also means there has been no improvement on the pupil-to-teacher ratio in the area, which now sits at 14.2 pupils per teacher on average.

Renfrewshire Council currently employs 791 primary and 768 secondary teachers, along with 91 special school teachers and 23 centrally-employed teachers who work across the local authority.

There has been an overall improvement in numbers since 2013, when there were 1,582 teachers employed in the area.

The Gazette: John Swinney welcomed the figures John Swinney welcomed the figures

On a national level, the number of primary school teachers is at the highest level since 1980 and total teacher numbers have risen by 288.

The overall number of teachers rose to 52,247 – an increase of 1,530 since 2015 and the highest level since 2009.

Separate figures show the proportion of primary pupils assessed as achieving the expected levels in listening and talking, reading, writing and numeracy has improved.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney welcomed the figures.

He said: “These latest statistics demonstrate that our reforms are working and education in Scotland is moving in the right direction.

“I am delighted to see teacher numbers continuing to increase, with levels at their highest in a decade and the number of primary teachers being the highest since 1980.”

Mr Swinney added: “Since 2006, there are now fewer P1-P3 pupils in large classes of 31 or more, which is particularly important as helping children in the early years is crucial if we are to close the attainment gap between the most and least deprived.”

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond