Education and Schools in Aberdeen

Expat parents will be glad to know that the standard of education in Aberdeen is generally high. With two universities that date back centuries and are still among the best in Scotland, learning is part of the city’s fabric.

Schools in Aberdeen are either state-run or private, with the system divided between primary school and secondary school (or high school).

Public schools in Aberdeen

Unlike in England, state-run schools in Scotland are known as public schools. Expats can choose from a variety of primary and secondary schools in the city, many of which have good reputations.

Pupils generally attend a school based on where they live. Those wanting to attend a school outside of their zone or who have not attended an Aberdeen City Authority primary school are required to apply at their chosen school. 

Private schools in Aberdeen

Private schools (known as independent schools)  have the benefit of smaller class sizes, superior facilities and diverse extra-curricular programmes. Parents should note that they are, however, often expensive.

There are fewer than 10 independent schools in Aberdeen. The good news for parents is that this includes one of Scotland's only international schools, which offers the globally recognised International Baccalaureate.

Homeschooling in Aberdeen

Under Scottish law, expats in Aberdeen are able to homeschool their children. Parents wanting to take their children out of a state school have to get permission from the Aberdeen City Authority. If an expat pupil has never attended a Scottish school or if they attended a private school, they will not need the City Authority’s permission.

The Scottish government has published a Home Education Guidance document aimed at helping parents interested in homeschooling their children.

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