AN ONLINE learning platform launched by Dollar Academy is set to provide courses for Scottish pupils free of charge.

The academy has launched Dollar Discovers, a platform to provide free SQA courses and shorter "discovery" courses.

The initiative is offering a wide range of subject to choose from, including ones that may not be available in other schools.

Ian Munro, rector at Dollar Academy, said: "At Dollar, we passionately believe in the transformative power of education and our responsibility to support as many young people as possible in their development.

"During lockdown, it was clear that there are opportunities to teach pupils effectively via engaging online content.

"This inspired the creation of the Dollar Discovers initiative, which will provide pupils from across Scotland with the opportunity to study subjects that they may not be able access at their current school.

"Students need to register for the courses, but, importantly, there is no cost to take part."

In addition to the SQA material, shorter multidisciplinary courses are also on offer.

These were created in partnership with NuVu Studio from the US and bring together leading figures from industry, NGOs and academia to create exciting content.

Topics covered are framed around the United Nation's sustainable development goals.

The discovery courses are designed to allow students to develop their curiosity and critical thinking.

Johnstons of Elgin and Grimshaw Architects are backing the first of the courses, which include architecture for wellbeing as well as activist fashion.

Andrew Whalley, chairman at Grimshaw Architects who endorsed the former course, said: "I strongly believe it takes creativity to excel in any field.

"New ideas and success stem from innovation in the sciences, technology, and the arts.

"The new online courses at Dollar Discovers will bring Dollar Academy's long-term interest and investment in the arts as a free resource to school pupils throughout Scotland."

He added: "We live in a rapidly changing world and our future generation must be given access to new fields of enquiry that fire their imagination."

The activist fashion course was endorsed by Simon Cotton, CEO at Johnstons of Elgin.

He said: "I am confident it will give students the practical tools they can use to build on conversations already happening across the fashion retail industry, as we move to make it a better and more sustainable sector."

School pupils and parents can visit dollardiscovers.orgfor further information.