Statistics on schools, teachers and pupils including data for local authorities and Wales as at January 2020.
The most recent data in this report relates to the situation as at January 2020. The report does not therefore relate to the period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
There were 1,480 local authority maintained schools, down 14 compared with January 2019. This is mainly due to school mergers.
There were 469,176 pupils in local authority maintained schools, up 778 compared with January 2019.
Of the 377,812 pupils aged 5 to 15, 19.9% were known to be eligible for free school meals, up from 18.3% at January 2019. These figures do not include transitional protection (see below).
There were 23,594 full-time equivalent qualified teachers in local authority maintained schools, this has remained steady compared with January 2019.
There were 97,551 pupils with special educational needs in maintained schools (20.8% of all pupils), down from 103,967 (22.2%) at January 2019.
Transitional protection for free school meals
On 1 April 2019 the Welsh Government introduced a new transitional protection for free school meals policy. This was brought in to ensure that pupils have their free school meals protected during the Universal Credit rollout period.
This protection applies to individual pupils and will continue until the end of their current schools phase, being the end of primary school or end of secondary school.
Any pupil that was eligible for free school meals on the introduction of the policy on 1 April 2019 should also be transitionally protected. In addition, any pupil that has become eligible at any point during the Universal Credit rollout under the new eligibility criteria should also be transitionally protected.
Of the 377,812 pupils aged 5 to 15, 21.1% were known to be eligible for transitional protection for free school meals at January 2020.
Note on quality of data
Whilst most of the usual data validation processes on the school census data have taken place, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the data will not undergo the usual final validation process. As part of the Welsh Local Government Finance Settlement, the data is usually returned to local authorities for final validation. Typically, overall numbers of pupils and teachers will not change significantly during this period, with the most likely change being in the characteristics of the pupils themselves e.g. free school meal entitlement. Users should therefore be more cautious when comparing data on characteristics of pupils and staff over time, in particular where small cohorts are involved.
What is being published?
At this time we are only publishing a limited set of information. Over the coming months we will be releasing our usual full suite of data via StatsWales.
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