Education and Schools in Edinburgh

The Scottish capital is regarded as a thriving educational and academic centre within the UK. Schools in Edinburgh are among the best in Scotland, and with four universities within city limits, the metropolis is generally accepted as a great incubator of ideas, second only to the likes of London.

On the whole, the region caters to a wide array of educational needs, from an impressive primary school sector all the way to top-notch further education options.


State-funded schools in Edinburgh

State schools in Edinburgh are highly regarded and are available free of charge as they are funded by taxes.

They operate according to a catchment system. Each area of the city is divided into a catchment area, and households are given admission priority at the school associated with their catchment. 

Expat parents should note that the school nearest in proximity might not necessarily be the catchment school associated with their area. For this reason, it is highly recommended to conduct extensive research into which schools serve which areas before choosing accommodation.

It is possible for parents to place a request with the City of Edinburgh for a school other than those that appear within their catchment, but these demands are not necessarily granted.


Private schools in Edinburgh

Independent schools in Edinburgh, also known as private schools, are not funded by taxpayer money nor government agencies. Even though the state-sponsored school system in Edinburgh is commendable, many expat parents still prefer to send their children to these tuition-based schools because they are generally regarded as having even higher and more consistent academic standards.

Furthermore, private schools usually have fewer students per class, have first-class facilities and offer an extensive range of extra-curricular activities.

Available space at these schools can fill up fast, but admission is not necessarily limited to a specific period of time, so expat parents can try to gain entrance for their child at various points in the school year. Sometimes children must pass an examination or undertake an interview to satisfy admission requirements.

While there aren't any schools in Edinburgh specifically catering to international students, several schools offer the International Baccalaureate, which is standardised over many countries and is considered to be a globally minded qualification.