School Catchment Areas in East Lothian


Mixing thriving local communities with rural locations, rolling green countryside with beautiful beaches, and recreation opportunities (it’s not known as the Golf Coast for nothing), East Lothian has something for everyone. Add to this easy access to Edinburgh via good train and bus links, and it’s no surprise that East Lothian has become a very popular location for families to live. But which schools should parents be prioritising and how can you go about finding out a school’s catchment area?


Whether you are looking for a bustling town atmosphere, such as that offered by Musselburgh or Haddington, or a quieter village lifestyle, like Longniddry or Aberlady, there is a good range of education options.


Primary School Catchment Areas

The region is well-served for primary schools, with both rural and urban options, roll sizes of just 19 up to a sizeable 851, and both denominational and non-denominational schools available.

Within the school catchment area for the four Musselburgh primaries, Stoneyhill Primary School records extremely low truancy rates (0.05% compared with the regional average of 0.17%). It also has lower than average rates of unauthorised absence (0.73%, compared with 0.76% on average across the region) and lateness (1.13%, compared to a regional average of 1.12%), and achieved a strong rating in its latest inspection report. Pinkie-St Peters Primary also ranks well; despite having 31.9% of children receiving free school meals (one of the highest percentages in the area – the regional average is 11.47%), the school records low unauthorised absence (0.7%) and truancy (0.06%) rates.

Within the Wallyford-Tranent-Prestonpans corridor (popular with those working in Edinburgh due to good local rail links), Windygoul Primary School has been extremely popular as a result of its location within an expanding new residential area. Despite a high roll of 548 pupils, the school has recorded low unauthorised absence and lateness rates in comparison to other schools in the area (0.91% and 1.2% respectively).

Those looking for a more rural lifestyle would do well to consider locating within the school catchment areas for Athelstaneford Primary School, Stenton Primary School, or Innerwick Primary Schools. These primaries combine small school rolls (all are under 80 pupils), with good levels of attendance (unauthorised absence levels are recorded at 0.17%, 0.44%, and 0.8% respectively).

To help you identify the primary school catchment areas in East Lothian, use our catchment area finder.


Secondary School Catchment Areas

Of the local secondary school options, North Berwick High School and Dunbar Grammar School certainly stand out. Both schools have low unauthorised absence rates and truancy rates: at 1.14%, Dunbar’s truancy rate is less than half that of the other county secondaries, and North Berwick’s nearly a third (0.75%). In addition, both record high exam pass rates, backed up by strong inspection reports from Education Scotland, the catchment areas for these schools will continue to be in high demand.

Use our catchment area finder to discover the secondary school catchment areas in East Lothian.


Denominational Schools Catchment Areas

East Lothian denominational schools include St Mary’s RC Primary in Haddington, which combines low rates of truancy (0.01%) and lateness (1.01%) with the lowest number of children (7.56%) receiving free school meals amongst the RC schools in the county. Loretto RC Primary in Musselburgh also performs well in terms of low unauthorised absence (0.41%) and truancy (0.07%) rates, despite a higher free school meals rate (13.68%).

Our catchment area map shows the locations of denominational schools in East Lothian and their catchment areas.


Overview Map of School Catchments in East Lothian


Other Links

East Lothian Primary School School League Table of School Pupil Attendance

East Lothian Secondary School League Table of School Pupil Attendance

East Lothian Denominational Primary School Attendance

East Lothian Exam School League Tables

East Lothian Free School Meals Levels