In the recent 2016 Royal Bank Of Scotland Children's Quality of Life Survey, Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles have been voted as the best places in the UK to bring up children.
So what makes the northern tip of Scotland Islands such a good place to bring up children?
- The average primary school class size (17.0) and pupil to teacher ratio (PTR) in secondary schools (10.0) in the Western Islands are the lowest in Britain (national averages of 26.9 and 20.9 respectively). The Orkneys follow with primary class sizes of 18.1 and a PTR of 9.3.
- An average school spend in the Orkneys of £9,281 per pupil is the highest in the survey – just over twice the national average of £4,623. The spending ratio in the Western Islands and Shetlands follow at £9,095 and £8,844 per pupil respectively.
- These factors appear to help secondary school children achieve excellent exam results, with over 90% of pupils in the Islands getting 5 awards at SCQF 4 or better (69.7% GB average1)
- The Western Islands have the lowest population densities in Britain with just 9 people per square kilometre – compared to the national average of 276. The Shetlands and Orkneys also have equally low population densities with 16 and 22 people/square km respectively.
- Children can walk about in relative freedom with an average of 71 vehicles per square kilometre in the Western Islands, 142 in the Orkneys and 145 in the Shetlands, compared to 9,587 in Britain as a whole.
- Importantly, the ONS survey on personal wellbeing indicates the Orkney and Western Island adult populations are among the happiest, most satisfied, least anxious and content in Britain. This bodes well for those growing up on the isles.
So why not give a thought to applying to our Scottish Rural Track GP Training Program? We have rotations based in all three areas with the hospital component being based in the local Rural General hospitals whilst the GP components are based in the local GP practices.