Policy Document

General Education Law








Compulsory Schooling

Main implications

The General Education Law (1999) defines the organisational principles and procedures of general education services - preschool, basic, and secondary education. The programme principle is introduced, which replaces the previous system, in which students were allowed to freely choose seven out of at least 12 subjects at upper secondary school. With the new law, students are allowed to choose between several upper-secondary education programmes offered by the schools and place an emphasis on different groups of subjects.

Benefits & Requirements

Coverage: Requirements for its application

The purpose of this law is to regulate the rights and responsibilities of all persons (state and local government educational institutions and other persons) involved in the process of implementation of general education. This law builds on the Education Law and specifies the organisation and describes the environment of preschool, basic, and secondary education.

Coverage: Eligible groups or beneficiaries

All children aged one-and-a-half until the acquisition of secondary education - 19 as a standard, but longer if the education takes more time.

Criteria for coverage

All children residing in Latvia.

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 and 2

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

This document does not stipulate workload (see Education Law)

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 (see Education Law).

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

This document does not stipulate education for migrant children (see Education Law).

Read the Law

Full Text Source in English

10.06.1999 General Education Law

Original full text source in native language

10.06.1999 Vispārējās izglītības likums

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