Education opportunities in Latvia for children of diplomats

According to the laws of the Republic of Latvia, local governments are the founders of general education institutions in Latvia. These institutions, within the sphere of their responsibility, keep a register of children of compulsory school age and provide local school budget funds for school maintenance and operation.

Each municipality is obliged to ensure children, whose declared residence is in that municipality’s administrative territory, with access to pre-school education and primary education at the education institution nearest to the child’s home.

The education functions required by laws are provided at local governments by the education administration or education specialist. Thus, all the issues related to the enrolment of children in school or their discharge from school must be addressed at the local education administration.

Pre-rotation period

If a student has so far studied at a school in Latvia but now is leaving the country together with his/her family, the parents must submit an application to the educational institution, stating that the family is leaving the country for an indefinite period of time or permanently, and that the child will continue studies in another country.

The educational institution shall issue a report or a study assessment card to the parents stamped and signed by the Director of the educational institution (if the student changes schools during the school year). Parents are responsible for the translation of the aforementioned documents in a foreign language to enable enrolment of the child at an educational institution in another country.

The educational institution, from which the student is discharged, shall inform the founder of the educational institution, i.e. the local government. Students who plan to study in another country for up to one school year shall not be discharged from the educational institution. Students who study in another country and by the end of the school year have not provided information on the education acquired to the educational institution, shall be discharged from the educational institution based on an order of the Director, and the student’s parents and the founder of the educational institution shall be informed about the discharge.

If the child has not studied in Latvia so far and is not registered at any educational institution, and reaches compulsory school age (5 years) while being abroad, we recommend that the child’s local government be informed thereof prior to leaving the country, in order to avoid a situation where the child is included in the list of children who do not attend school, due to the institutions in charge not having information about the child’s whereabouts.

The child’s enrolment at an educational institution, as well as the child’s transfer to the next grade is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers 28 February 2012 Regulation No. 149, ‘Regulations Regarding the Procedures for Enrolment of Students in and Discharge from General Educational Institutions and the Mandatory Requirements for Moving Them up to the Next Grade’.

Useful assistance with the comparison or recognition of educational documents may be obtained at the European recognition of diplomas centre networks ENIC and NARIC (European Network of Information Centres and National Academic Recognition Information Centres).

Providing children with places in pre-school educational institutions, and the procedures for child enrolment is the responsibility of local governments. In relation to the possibility to acquire pre-school education in Riga city, we recommend getting familiar with the Riga City Council regulation No. 123 ‘Procedures for the implementation of the pre-school education provision function by the Riga City Municipality’ or turning to the Education, Culture and Sports Department of the Riga City Council.

Post-rotation period

If a child has returned from studies in another country and wishes to continue studies in an educational institution in Latvia, the director is entitled to request from the student’s parents or the student who is over 16 years old, documents that describe and certify the study content acquired in another country and the study outcome assessment. After evaluating the documents submitted and the student’s study achievements (if necessary, involving teachers of the corresponding subjects), the Director shall take a decision on the student’s admission to a particular class and inform the student and his/her parents about the decision. After returning from studies abroad, the student is entitled to receive individual consultations, for example, in the Latvian language, etc.

To enrol a student in a secondary education programme, it is necessary to submit a certificate of primary education, study transcript and a primary education certificate (if received, for students who have acquired a national minority educational programme).

If primary education was obtained in another country – education documents that describe and certify the study content acquired in that country and the study outcome assessment. Students who have acquired primary education abroad do not need to pass state examinations for grade 9 to be admitted to grade 10.

For all students, after coordinating it with the founder, the educational institution may impose additional requirements for admission to a particular general secondary education programme in grade 10, 11 or 12, subject to the prior study assessment and entrance examinations.

Study of subjects in a shortened time frame

In special cases where the child has appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as social and psychological/emotional preparedness, the pedagogical council of the educational institution shall decide on an opportunity to recognise in a particular study programme that the student has acquired the study content of subjects (courses) of two or more classes during one year.

The pedagogical council of the educational institution shall review the matter, if:

  • No later than one month before the end of the school year, parents have submitted to the director a reasoned application containing a request to allow the student to acquire the study content of subjects (courses) of two or more classes within one year;
  • In consultation with teachers and after evaluation of the parents’ application, the Director has issued an order regarding the required timing of tests;
  • The student has, before the set deadline, passed tests and mandatory state examinations in a particular education programme on the study content of future subjects (courses).