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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April, 2005, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Report details schooling choices
Empty desks
Many children go to schools beyond council boundaries
More parents in Glasgow send their children to schools beyond city council boundaries than anywhere else in Scotland.

Results of an education census suggest that Glasgow's education authority is struggling to win parents' confidence.

The Scottish Executive report also shows falling school rolls and details how many pupils are leaving school as soon as they legally can.

The census covered public schools in the year from September 2003.

In total, 723,545 pupils were found to be in Scotland's schools - 398,100 in the primary age group, 318,065 in secondary and 7,389 were receiving special education.

Figures breakdown

Of Glasgow's 40,728 primary age children, 5.6% attended a school outside their local council area - the highest percentage in Scotland by a considerable margin.

The second highest area was measured to be North Lanarkshire, which saw 2.9% of primary pupils attend schools beyond their council area.

In comparison, Edinburgh had fewer than 100 primary pupils going to a school outside city council limits - measured at just 0.4%.

Glasgow again had the highest percentage when it came to secondary pupils.

Of the 31,538 school pupils in secondary schools in and around Glasgow, 4,316 or 13.7% of children were schooled by a different local authority - far higher than the second highest, which was East Dunbartonshire with 6.1% of pupils.

Figures drop

A total of 207 of Edinburgh's 19,637 secondary pupils - 1.1% - went to a school further away.

However the Glasgow figure, although the highest, did represent a slight fall from the 14.3% measured during the previous 12-month period to September 2003.

The figures also reveal that schools have more empty desks because of the falling birth rate.

Another statistic showed that the number of pupils in special schools has fallen.

Scottish Conservative education spokesman James Douglas-Hamilton said parents needed more choice.

He said: "While many pupils with special needs can benefit from education in mainstream classrooms, some young people with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties need to have them met differently.

"The 1,612 pupils in mainstream secondary schools with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are in danger of not having their needs adequately met if they are in classrooms where teachers do not have the specialised training or resources to cope."

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