Skills beyond school

Students with Disabilities, Difficulties, Disadvantages - Statistics and Indicators for Curriculum Access and Equity (Special Educational Needs)


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Summary contents


Based on headcounts, outcomes and education provision made available, to develop comparable statistics and indicators on students with disabilities, learning difficulties and disadvantages (SENDDD) to inform national and international policy-making.

Project summary

  • Recording of data annually by national statistical agencies on an electronic questionnaire, covering pre-school to upper secondary stages of education.
  • Transformation of data into an internationally agreed framework of categories comprising students with disabilities, learning difficulties and disadvantages.
  • Indicators produced include information on the prevalence of different categories of students by age and stage, ISCED level on place of education (special school, special class or regular school classes), gender, teacher-student ratio, and the nature of facilities provided. In addition, qualitative data are provided on legal frameworks and facilitators and barriers to inclusion.
  • Developing statistical work on SENDDD students in further and higher education.
  • Preparatory work is underway for developing PISA for these students who are often entitled to accommodation in testing arrangements.
  • A similar programme is also being implemented in North, Central and South America following its launch in Mexico City in 2003.


The following 29 countries or provinces have participated or are participating in the project by providing either qualitative or quantitative data referring to the school years 1996, 1999, and 2001: Austria, Belgium (Flemish and French Communities), Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan), the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


  • Autumn 2005: The 14th SENDD country representatives meeting in Washington DC.
  • May 2005: SENDDD (venue to be confirmed)
  • 17-18 January 2005: The 13th SENDDD country representatives meeting in Brussels
  • 22-23 April 2004: The 12th SENDDD country representatives meeting in Paris
  • 12-13 February 2004: experts meeting in Paris
  • March 2004 - Experts meeting in Paris
  • 28-30 April 2004, Rio de Janeiro, Second meeting of the SENDDD Americas project

Available and forthcoming outputs


Future outputs

  • Publication of third monograph “Students with Disabilities, Difficulties and Disadvantages: Curriculum Access and Equity”
  • Data analyses based on local data gathering and proposals for future data developments.
  • Data are also to be included on the World Bank website.
  • CD-ROM of database.
  • Report on feasibility of extending PISA testing to special needs students.
  • Preliminary report on transition processes to work and tertiary education for students with disabilities.


See also