COLLEGE students in the Wee County this week transitioned to remote learning as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 continues to spread in Scotland.

The majority of teaching and learning has moved online for the last week of term at Forth Valley College.

Measures will be in effect during the first few days following the Christmas break as well, including January 5 to 7.

Dr Ken Thomson, college principal, said: "We recognise that many staff and students may be feeling anxious about the current situation and we wanted to put measures in place to alleviate this.

"There are some priority groups that have been identified for on campus activity for essential reasons, however, numbers will be at an absolute minimum.

"We are also asking that anyone required to come on campus take regular lateral flow tests and that they continue to comply with the wide range of safety measures and arrangements in place for their wellbeing."

The announcement came as many colleges are proactively planning to deliver hybrid teaching for the first two weeks of next year to protect students, minimise pressure on public transport and health services.

Shona Struthers, chief executive of Colleges Scotland, said: "Colleges have prepared very well for this model and students can be assured that the quality of their college experience is being protected.

"Scottish Government and colleges across the country are working closely together as the situation changes.

"Colleges were already operating at a higher safety level than the rest of society through this autumn and winter and we expect that to continue when learning and teaching resumes in January."

The remote learning arrangements follow fresh guidance and rules issued for the festive period due to the rapid rises in Omicron cases.

Members of the public have been requested to reduce as far as possible to a minimum the number of contacts with people from other households.

Businesses are also stepping up the protections in place on premises and working from home, where possible is to become a requirement anchored in law.

Looking ahead to January, Dr Thomson said: "We are also scenario planning for the week commencing Monday, January 10, 2022, if further restrictions are still in place, including prioritising specific class groups and access to electronic devices."

Plans for that week are to be shared on Thursday, January 6.

The college principal added: "We continue to meet regularly with Scottish Government and NHS Scotland public health officials to review all measures and arrangements in place.

"The safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors is our top priority."