A pilot ‘virtual campus’ has been launched for senior Tayside pupils in an effort to widen curriculum choices.
Local authorities in Dundee, Angus and Perth and Kinross started the Tayside Virtual Campus after witnessing the success of digital learning during lockdown.
It means pupils can now study Advanced Higher Spanish, French and computing even when there is not enough demand for the subjects to be offered at their school.
Previously they would have been transported to a neighbouring school if they wanted to do so.
Pupils have been using the virtual campus since August and it is hoped the digital classes can be expanded to more age groups and encompass more subjects.
Audrey May, chief education officer at Dundee City Council, praised the tri-council partnership.
She said lessons had been learned from national school closures where education was moved abruptly online.
However as schools looked to recover from the disruption, the benefits of online lessons have been adapted to benefit pupils in their final school stage.
Ms May said: “As a result of everything we achieved very quickly during the pandemic, we are able to offer new opportunities to widen the senior phase curriculum.
“The best offer we can give our young people will give us the best results for them as well. If we couldn’t offer all of these subjects then we’d restrict them.
“This is the type of collaboration with our Tayside neighbours that absolutely has young people’s needs at the centre.”
The digital offering was launched as part of the Tayside Plan for Children, Young People and Families and is part of the regional improvement collaborative between the three local authorities.
Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “A pandemic is not the best way to find out if we can do something differently but actually it’s important that we learn from the things we put in place to support young people.
“We’re doing really innovative and bold work to really support our young people and we want to make sure that when a young person leaves school we have given them every opportunity they need to be able to move on to college, university or the workplace.
“The virtual campus is just another tool that we’ve now got that can really support our young people.
“It might be that for some pupils, they just needed that extra class to get them to wherever they need to go.”