Schools in Scotland are administered by the Scottish Education Department and by local education authorities. For historical and organization information, see GREAT BRITAIN. Elementary and Secondary Schools. In the mid-1980s some 879,000 pupils were attending publicly maintained schools and about 31,900 were in private schools. The transfer from elementary to secondary schools generally takes place at the age of 12. For a discussion on specialized schools, see ENGLAND.
Easy to explore and crammed coast to coast with terrific scenery, gorgeous towns and countless historic and cutting-edge attractions, Scotland is an extraordinary destination. The country will knock your socks off with its rugged coastline, and jaw-dropping vistas of imposing peaks and romantic lochs, along with its fiercely proud heritage and world-class culture.
Scotland occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain, which lies off the north west coast of mainland Europe. It has an extremely varied geography: from fertile plains and lowland areas to barren mountains; from densely populated post-industrial cities to uninhabited islands; and which extends from as far south as parts of the English Lake District to as far north as St Petersburg in Russia and Anchorage in Alaska.