Primary School Ranks Scotland

Scottish Primary School Performance Map

There is an updated version of this post based on new data based on 2023-23 exam results which were published late 2023: Scottish Primary Schools League Tables

Primary school performance data (best to worst) on a map of Scotland showing results from all the ~1500 schools that provided returns.
Download school performance data by local authority.

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Go to Downloads

The Scottish Government (Scot Gov) has provided school level data for Scotland’s primary schools according to their Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels (ACEL) which monitor pupil performance against a number of core skills: reading, writing, numeracy and listening & talking.   Scot Gov has made the data available on a website where information on each individual school can be accessed, one school at a time.  This is not, however, a user friendly process, you cannot download the underlying data and if you want to compare a number of schools in an area it is slow.  The data for the whole of Scotland’s primary schools was obtained under a freedom of information act request and this data was used to create the map of Scotland with primary school rankings.

It is important to note that what was measured and thus is presented is data based on pupil performance and not school performance.  A number of factors such as the socio-economic status of the catchment area will greatly influence the outcome for a whole school.  Factors such as the key skills of pupils at entry point, reading/writing support within the family and attitude to education throughout schooling will have an impact on the attainment levels of pupils. Thus an excellent school within a deprived area may be achieving enhanced educational outcomes for its pupils but by starting from a lower base than a school from a non-deprived area it will appear to be performing less well.

Nevertheless seeking a good education for their children is a high priority for parents.  For both primary and secondary education the ranking of a school based on the performance of its pupils gives parents an excellent indication of the learning environment within the school.

School Pupil Ranks 2021

graph showing distribution of primary school performance bandsUnlike data published by other sources (mainly the national press) which focuses on P7 pupil performance, this site has utilised the data from the combined P1, P4 and P7 results so the absolute outcomes will differ from press information although the overall trends will be similar.  Schools are ranked based on the percentage of P1, P4 and P7 pupils achieving the required standard across the four measures (reading, writing, numeracy and listening & talking).  ACEL data for 1,916 schools was provided, however, in order to safeguard pupil confidentiality data for 364 smaller schools with less than 5 pupils in a year group was redacted.  This is normal procedure with sensitive information that could lead to identification of persons when small numbers are involved.  The Scot Gov supplementary information data file lists 2,003 primary schools so assuming that this data set is correct information for a further 87 schools is missing.  This may be because a small number of schools have not made a return because of Covid-19 related issues.


Distribution of School Performance Bands

The distribution of performance is highly skewed so that the majority of schools are in bands where the majority of their pupils are meeting the required standard.  Thus 88% of schools are categorised as having 60% or more of their pupils meeting the required standard (that is 88% of the 1,552 schools where a return was made). In the middle bands 10% of schools have pupils in the ranges 50-59% and 40-49% meeting target.  Only 2% of schools are performing poorly with pupils in the ranges 30-39%, 20-29% and 0-19%.


Current Performance Compared to Previousgraph showing distribution of primary school performance bands

Literacy and numeracy performance has declined since the previous results were published (2019) and only 10% of schools had pupils achieving a higher performance since the last ACEL results were published (source The Times).  This may reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on school closures, distance learning and pupil absences due to isolation of pupils and or whole families.

Primary Schools Map

  • Use the filter on the top right of the map to remove/add rank levels from the map.
    Note on mobile platforms this action is not possible
  • Click on a school marker and a pop-up will provide further information about the school.
    Further school details obtained by downloading the summary sheet for each local authority.
  • Move the map to centre your preferred location by dragging it.
  • Zoom in using the buttons on the top left.


Primary School Data by Local Authority

Downloadable csv files include: School name; performance bands for reading, writing, numeracy and listening & talking; address, phone number, email address, website url, pupil roll, number FTE teachers.  Note csv files can be opened using Microsoft Excel or Libre Office Calc programs.


Aberdeen City Primary Schools
Aberdeenshire Primary Schools
Angus Primary Schools
Argyll & Bute Primary Schools
City of Edinburgh Primary Schools
Clackmannanshire Primary Schools
Dumfries & Galloway Primary Schools
Dundee City Primary Schools
East Ayrshire Primary Schools
East Dunbartonshire Primary Schools
East Lothian Primary Schools
East Renfrewshire Primary Schools
Falkirk Primary Schools
Fife Primary Schools
Glasgow City Primary Schools
Highland Primary Schools
Inverclyde Primary Schools
Midlothian Primary Schools
Moray Primary Schools
Na h-Eileanan Siar Primary Schools
North Ayrshire Primary Schools
North Lanarkshire Primary Schools
Orkney Islands Primary Schools
Perth & Kinross Primary Schools
Renfrewshire Primary Schools
Scottish Borders Primary Schools
Shetland Islands Primary Schools
South Ayrshire Primary Schools
South Lanarkshire Primary Schools
Stirling Primary Schools
West Dunbartonshire Primary Schools
West Lothian Primary Schools
Grant Aided Primary Schools

Methods and Sources

School level data for Scotland’s primary schools according to their Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels
was obtained under a freedom of information request from the Scottish Government.  The file contains data for 1916 primary schools and provides statistics for each school including percentages of pupils meeting the required standard in P1, P2, P7 and a combined result for P1-P4-P7.

Data for P1, P4, P7 was used for mapping as it covers the school more broadly than if a single year group is used.  It provides the percentage of pupils achieving the required standard as a ranges (91% – 100%, 81% – 90%, 71% – 80%, 61% – 70%, 51% – 60%, 41% – 50%, 31% – 40%, 21% – 30%, 11% – 20%  and 0% – 10%).  To make the comparison mid points were used ( thus 91% – 100% was scored as 95%, 81% – 90% was scored as 85% etc.  The average of the four key measures was used for each school.

Primary School Information
was obtained from the Scottish Government website:

The data includes address, local authority, school roll, FTE teachers, Latitude and longitude.  The data was published Oct 2021.

Scottish Government Website

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