Country information for Latvia - Legislation and policy
Every citizen of the Republic of Latvia, holders of non-citizen passports issued by the Republic of Latvia, citizens of European Union, European Economic Area countries and Switzerland, permanent residents of the European Community holding a residence permit for Latvia, stateless persons who possess a travelling document issued by the Republic of Latvia, third-country nationals or stateless persons who possess 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 have equal rights to education in Latvia.
The Law on Education, adopted in 1998, defines the main organisational principles and procedures of educational services. The Law on General Education, adopted in 1999, defines the organisational principles and procedures of general education services.
The Law on Education identifies special education as general and professional education adapted for people with special needs and health problems. The Law on General Education defines the types of education implemented in Latvia. It states that special education is a specific type of general education. Chapter 8 of this law defines the implementation of special education programmes. The Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers define the provision of educational services for learners with special needs and the procedures for identifying special needs.
The aims and goals of general education are described in the Standards of General Education, which are adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The Cabinet of Ministers also adopts the main principles and procedures for assessing learners, including those with special needs.
The amendments made to the Law on General Education in 2011 introduced the requirement to provide support measures (accommodations) and develop an individual education plan for learners with disabilities included in mainstream settings.
The Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers ensure the availability of appropriate support measures (accommodations) during the state tests and examinations.
The ‘Education Development Guidelines 2014–2020’ link national objectives with the European Union’s development priorities. They underline the importance of inclusive education and personalised approaches for learners with special needs. The concept of inclusive education is described as a process in which the corresponding diverse needs of all learners are ensured by increasing each learner’s participation opportunities in the learning process, culture and various communities and reducing potential exclusion from education and the educational process (Sources: Raising the Achievement of All Learners in Inclusive Education – Latvia Country Report; CPRA – Latvia Country Report).
A new reform of the special education system is underway. It aims to develop a comprehensive support system for the education of learners with special needs in mainstream classrooms. Regulations regarding the functioning and evaluation of 12 special education development centres were adopted in March 2016. These centres provide support to inclusive education teachers and to learners with special needs (European Commission, 2017, p. 175).
More information about the legal system of education in Latvia is available on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science.
Last updated 05/02/2020