Information is collected on the characteristics of pupils with a statement of special educational needs through the school census returns made by schools to the department. The pupil characteristic data collected include indicators relating to gender, ethnic group, home postcode and type of special educational need. Details of the items collected in 2009 are available on Teachernet at http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/ims/datacollections/schoolcensus/sc2009/.
School census data are transferred to the National Pupil Database which enables further analysis e.g. by attainment.