In Latvia a general term pedagogue (pedagogs) is used in regulations to refer to all teachers - persons with acquired pedagogical education and teaching qualification.
In May 2011 the Cabinet of Ministers issued regulation on the list of teachers’ professions and posts (Noteikumi par pedagogu profesiju un amatu sarakstu). The following list of posts refers to teachers and education staff directly responsible for teaching:
General education pedagogues
- General upper-secondary education teacher
Basic education (integrated primary and lower-secondary education) pedagogues
- General basic education teacher
- Primary education teacher
- Pre-school education teacher
- Pre-school education music teacher
- Pre-school education sports teacher
Vocational education pedagogues
- Vocational education teacher
- Vocational orientation education teacher
Pedagogues of higher education institutions and colleges
- Associate professor
- Senior teacher
Special education pedagogues
- Teacher – speech therapist
- Special education teacher
- Special pedagogue
Posts at education institution likened to posts of pedagogues
- Teacher of prolonged-day group
- Education institution museum pedagogue
- Interest-related education teacher
- Boarding school teacher
- Head couch
- Vocational training teacher
- Concert master
- Sports couch
School teachers in Latvia are trained at tertiary level. There are two groups of programmes providing teacher training, academic and professional; thus initial teacher training is provided in the following programmes:
- second level professional higher education study programmes (integrated bachelor programme),
- academic study programmes in pedagogy followed by professional higher education study programme,
- first level professional higher education study programmes.
All teachers to be qualified to work in a school must undergo study programmes leading not only to higher pedagogical education but also to a teacher qualification in the respective level of education. Besides, most programmes prepare teachers of certain subjects (subject specialists). Thus, completion of a certain kind of programme entitles to teach the respective subject at the respective level of education. There are exemptions – early childhood teachers and primary school teachers (classes 1-4) receive a teacher qualification in the respective level of education, and are entitled to teach most of subjects ie. are generalists.
The institutions responsible for decision-making concerning the conditions of service for teachers are: the Ministry of Education and Science, municipalities and education institutions. The Education Law, the Labour Protection Law and the Labour Law as well as a number of regulations issued by the Cabinet of Ministers determine conditions of service for teachers.
Continuing professional development is compulsory in Latvia for teachers (including school heads and their deputies) at all education levels. The aims of in-service training are to ensure the necessary teacher qualification, to conform to the necessities of society and to promote the growth of pedagogues as creative personalities. Curriculum includes development of specific subjects and subject teaching, cooperation with pupils and parents, and creative processes in education work. In general, teachers themselves are responsible for acquiring the mandatory in-service training.