COLLEGE students in Alloa and beyond have been given reassurances all exams will go ahead despite industrial action.

As the pay dispute between lecturers and employers' body Colleges Scotland rages on, three May strike dates will fall on some exam days, Forth Valley College confirmed.

The past months saw several days of industrial action over a cost-of-living pay rise, including at college's Alloa Campus.

Fresh strike days for May 8, 15 and 16 have been set by the EIS-FELA trade union as part of an escalation.

A spokesman for the college confirmed all three of its campuses will remain open and "where possible" classes will run as normal.

He said: "In addition, all scheduled exams – which fall on days of action – will go ahead as planned.

"We want to also make it clear that no students will be disadvantaged in regards to either their bursary or EMA funding as a consequence of the industrial action.

"Our focus as always is ensuring we continue to deliver the highest quality learning experiences for our students whilst all parties involved work towards a solution to this dispute."

With the two sides failing to agree a way forward, EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan explained the escalation came as the Scottish Government refusal to intervene and "the continuing intransigence of college management".

He added: "Lecturers do not relish the prospect of this escalation of action, but nonetheless remain steadfast in their determination to secure a fair cost of living pay increase, in line with public sector pay policy.

"The EIS would urge both Colleges Scotland and the Scottish Government to consider the best interests of Scotland's FE sector and the students that it serves, and to come back with a fair proposal that will be acceptable to our members and allow lecturers to return to work as normal."

John Gribben, director of employment services at Colleges Scotland Employers' Association, branded the escalation "extremely disappointing, but not surprising".

He said: "The EIS-FELA is out of control and by also committing to withholding students' assessment results they have crossed a line which is recklessly gambling with students' futures.

"By announcing three days of strikes during the exam period, the EIS-FELA has compounded its attack on students and is trying to cause maximum disruption to the students, but colleges will do everything in their powers to mitigate the impact.

"This is the behaviour of an unprofessional, reckless body which is displaying contempt for college students."