Policy Document

Education Law








Compulsory Schooling

Main implications

The Education Law came in force in 1999 to replace the previous LR Education Law that was in force from 1991 to 1999.

This is the frame law of education in Latvia. This law contains definitions of all kinds and levels of education and lays the general principles and competences of governing bodies of different levels in both governance and financing of education.

Benefits & Requirements

Coverage: Eligible groups or beneficiaries

All Latvian population.

Criteria for coverage

Every citizen of the Republic of Latvia; holders of non-citizen passports issued by the Republic of Latvia; citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area countries, and Switzerland; permanent residents of the European Community holding a residence permit for Latvia; stateless persons in possession of a travelling document issued by the Republic of Latvia; third-country nationals or stateless persons who are in possession of a valid residence permit for the Republic of Latvia; persons having refugee or alternative status; and persons who have received temporary protection within the Republic of Latvia all have equal rights to education in Latvia.
A minor child of an asylum seeker and a minor asylum seeker have the right to basic education and secondary education, as well as the right to continue the commenced education after reaching the age of majority. A minor third-country national or stateless person who has no legal basis to reside in the Republic of Latvia has the right to acquire basic education during the time period specified for voluntary exit or during the time period for which the expulsion is suspended, as well as during his or her detention.

Age range

5-16 (in exceptional cases until 18)

Duration (numbers of years of compulsory education stipulated by this document)

2 years of preschool + 9 years of general education

ISCED levels included in compulsory education

Levels 1 (preschool) and 2 (basic)

Dedication (number of hours per week stipulated by this document)

This document does not stipulate children’s workload. The workload is determined by the state’s basic education standard (available in Latvian: http://likumi.lv/doc.php. It states that maximum number of lessons (45 minutes) weekly in year 1 is 22, which is gradually increased to 34 lessons a week in year 9 (respectively: Y1-22, Y2-23, Y3-24, Y4-26, Y5-28, Y6-30, Y7-32, Y8-34, Y9-34).

Is educational tracking implemented or modified by this document?


Education and training required for a compulsory school teacher stipulated by this document

This document does not stipulate teacher education and training requirements. This is determined by the regulations on teacher professional qualifications (available in Latvian: http://likumi.lv/ta/id/269965-noteikumi-par-pedagogiem-nepieciesamo-izglitibu-un-profesionalo-kvalifikaciju-un-pedagogu-profesionalas-kompetences-pilnveides-...). The regulations stipulate that all teachers in preschool and basic education must have obtained higher professional education in pedagogy (or be in the process of acquiring education), and also set the specific education required for subject teachers.

Is the compulsory education of children of undocumented migrants granted by this document?

Yes. A minor third-country national or stateless person who has no legal basis to reside in the Republic of Latvia, has the right to acquire basic education during the time period specified for voluntary exit or during the time period for which the expuls

Read the Law

Full Text Source in English

Valsts Valodas centrs (State Language centre) official translation: http://www.vvc.gov.lv/export/sites/default/docs/LRTA/Likumi/Education_Law.doc

Original full text source in native language

Legislation of Republic of Latvia database: http://likumi.lv/doc.php

Full text web source in English


Original full text web source in native language


Secondary Literature & Sources

Secondary literature

Study "Access to life long learning and possibilities to study in Latvia" ("Mūžizglītības pieejamība un iespējas izglītoties Latvijā"): http://www.laea.lv/44/section.aspx/85 (in Latvian, summary of relevant legislation in appendix)

Links to databases and sources for the analysis or evaluation of this policy field

Statistics on general education from 2009 onwards on the Ministry of Education and Science website: http://www.izm.gov.lv/lv/publikacijas-un-statistika/statistika-par-izglitibu/statistika-par-visparejo-izglitibu. Statistics in a similar form for earlier years (not before 1999) are available upon request from the Ministry but are often not electronic.
Education data section in Central Statistical Office of Latvia (from year 1990 for most indicators): http://data.csb.gov.lv/pxweb/en/Sociala/Sociala__ikgad__izgl/ (in English or Latvian)


Zane Cunska
Stockholm School of Economics in Riga

Data collected in the framework of the Population Europe Research Finder and Archive (PERFAR)

Cite as

SPLASH-db.eu (2015): Policy: "Education Law" (Information provided by Zane Cunska). Available at: https://splash-db.eu [Date of access].