Some high schools in Scotland are too large, Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth has said, warning this can affect education and the relationship teachers have with students.

Ms Gilruth, who worked as a teacher before entering Holyrood, said some schools are "too big for our pupils and our staff, full-stop".

The Education Secretary told MSPs she has tasked officials with producing advice on the issue, as she also said learning in open-plan classrooms can impact on youngsters with additional support needs.

Her comments came after Holyrood's Education Committee previously heard from the National Autistic Society of Scotland that a "trend towards super-schools is potentially unhelpful" for some pupils.

Asked about those comments, Ms Gilruth said: "I think there are some schools in Scotland that are too big.

"I think they are too big for our children with additional support needs, but I think they are too big for our pupils and our staff, full-stop.

"What that means is teachers don't get to know their children and young people in big schools."

Ms Gilruth, who attended Madras College in St Andrews, cited Fife as an area with a number of larger secondary schools - including the one she attended.

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The Education Secretary, who is also the MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes, said: "If you think about Fife and the geography of that little area of Scotland, lots of little towns and villages coming together in a huge school. Children become lost.

"When we talk about challenges associated with behaviour, attainment, this is all about relationships and teachers knowing their kids."

She said the Scottish Government needs "to get some further advice in relation to school design", saying she has asked officials to carry out this work.

Ms Gilruth went on to tell the committee that "open plan classrooms can contribute to challenges in relation to learning and additional support needs".

She said: "I see in many of the visits I undertake open plan classrooms, and sometimes it can work well.

"But I think often for some young people it is extremely difficult to concentrate in those environments and we need to be mindful of that."

With education provided by councils across Scotland, she stressed school buildings "don't belong" to the Government and are instead under the ownership of local authorities.

She said ministers have "given local authorities substantial amounts of funding in recent years to help improve the quality of the school estate", but she added: "The design of the school estate, though, often comes from local authorities themselves."