Innovation in education

Special Educational Needs - Country Data


The data in this website focus on compulsory years of schooling, which is typically from around age 6-16 in most countries. The pre-school, lower secondary and upper secondary levels are also very important for students with disabilities, difficulties and disadvantages (DDD), but generally there are fewer data available.

The data are presented for each category of disability, difficulty and disadvantage and are broken down according to place of education for students receiving additional resources (special schools, special classes, regular classes, and total number of students for all settings in that category).

The number of categories used varies widely from country to country, as do their national labels. The data also show the classification of students in receipt of additional resources in the three broad cross-national categories of disabilities, difficulties and disadvantages. Those in the "disabilities" category (A) have clear organic bases for their difficulties. Those in the "difficulties" category (B) have learning and behaviour difficulties which do not appear to be due to either a clear organic basis or social disadvantage. Those in the "disadvantages" category (C) receive additional educational resources due to aspects of their social and/or language background.

The figures are based on full-time study except for Finland. Data refer to the school year 1998/99, with the exception of Canada (Alb, BC, NB); Greece, Luxembourg, Japan and Mexico where data cover the period 1999/2000 and Turkey with data from 1997/98. In Germany data on students in programmes in special schools refer to year 1999/2000 and data on students in programmes in regular classes refer to year 2000/2001. The figures are based on both public and private institutions. A much more extensive set of information is available in the OECD publications Equity in Education - Students with Disabilities, Learning Difficulties and Disadvantages, OECD 2004 and Students with Disabilities, Learning Difficulties and Disadvantages - Statistics and Indicators, OECD 2005