MORE crumbling school buildings are to be replaced or refurbished. Mr Swinney said £80 million of planned investment would be brought forward to support the construction of 67 new schools – 12 more than originally planned – benefiting 69,000 pupils.
Mr Swinney said: "Due to efficiencies delivered by the Scottish Futures Trust, we will increase the number of schools being built from 55 to 67, and we will build them sooner by bringing forward £80m of planned investment into this spending review."
Elsewhere, teaching unions welcomed the Government's re-stated commitment to retain teacher numbers in line with pupil rolls.
The Scottish Government also announced £50m for early years education during the course of the current Parliament and continued investment to raise attainment through Curriculum for Excellence.
New funding of £18m was announced to support up to 10,000 young people into jobs and the establishment of a new Scottish Energy Skills Academy.
The Government is also pledging 25,000 modern apprenticeship starts and £31.6m a year for Education Maintenance Allowances to support pupils in the upper years of secondary.
SCOTLAND'S elite athletes will be supported by an extra £1 million in the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games
The cash is on top of £5m funding given to sportscotland to develop athletic talent, and will be used to help train medal-winning prospects such as cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and swimmer Michael Jamieson, pictured.
Sir Chris, Britain's greatest ever Olympian, will be looking to win gold in 2014, after which he may retire.
However, Jamieson, who won the silver medal in the 200m breaststroke at the London 2012 Olympics will just be coming into his peak.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "With just under two years to go to Glasgow 2014 we are proud to be investing an extra £1m in elite athletes and more than £133m into sport and the Commonwealth Games. Not only will people across Scotland be inspired to get active, the Games and other sporting events will create jobs, provide contract opportunities for Scottish businesses and boost our events and tourism industry."
Michael Cavanagh, chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said: "We welcome the announcement of an additional £1m towards the preparation of potential Team Scotland athletes. We will now look to ensure this money is effectively targeted where it will have the greatest impact."
Money spent on protecting the environment and rural communities will increase by almost £10 million next year as the Government aims to ensure the least populated areas benefit from the urgent action needed to stimulate economic recovery. Renewable energy, climate change and the food and drink industry are among the key spending priorities, as is improving broadband connections in remote areas.
The portfolio will receive funding of more than £520m in 2013/2014.
While no new major renewable projects were announced, Mr Swinney said the Government would continue to invest in the framework required for the off-shore wind and marine renewables sector. An Energy Skills Academy is to be created.
Climate change will also be tackled in part by a £30m fund to improve insulation – and reduce energy use – across Scotland with a focus on domestic properties.
The biggest wedge of the rural and environmental budget (£199m) will go on supporting organisations such as the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, National Parks Authorities and Scottish Natural Heritage. All are likely to see slight funding cuts next year.
The Next Generation Digital Fund, designed to bring super fast broadband to rural communities, will be boosted from £8m to £26m next year.
The total sum paid to the EU to support Scotland's farmers will be £102m.
A £6 million boost for cycling was one of the few transport highlights in the draft Budget.
The extra spending for promoting cycling and infrastructure such as bicycle lanes follows an upsurge in interest after the 2012 Olympics.
It is part of £10m extra found to support active travel, including walking, and to help bus firms purchase environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles that run on diesel and electricity.
But the announcement was given a lukewarm reception by green groups, who said Scottish Government spending was still dominated by expenditure on roads, with £690m allocated in 2013-14 to maintaining the trunk road and motorway network and building the new Forth Road Crossing.
Dan Barlow, head of policy at environmental charity WWF Scotland, said: "The transport budget is still massively dominated by large road schemes. The balance of transport spend needs to shift very significantly in favour of active travel and public transport if we are to deliver a healthy and low carbon transport system."
John Lauder, director of Sustrans Scotland, added: "Walking and cycling account for less than 1% of the total transport budget. The City of Edinburgh Council is committing 5% of its transport budget to cycling and the Scottish Government needs to show a similar ambition."
Creative Scotland, the national arts funding body, is to see a 2% cut to its core budget. It will now receive £34.1 million, although it will also get an additional £1m for capital projects.
By contrast, it expects its income through the National Lottery – which, because it can only be used in certain ways, is a more limited funding stream than a Government grant – to rise to £32.3m by 2014.
Andrew Dixon, chief executive, said: "The Scottish Government's proposed settlement is a welcome measure of confidence in continuing the success of Creative Scotland and allows additional investment in the regeneration of Scotland's cultural infrastructure."
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera all receive cuts of 1.2%, while the National Galleries and the National Museum will have cuts of 0.5%.
However, capital spending is being increased to £17m in 2013-14 from the £8.7m set out in the 2011 Spending Review. The £10m Youth Music Initiative is ring-fenced and the successful and popular Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, worth £2m, is also protected.
Health boards have been given a £9.1 billion boost to fund services in 2013-14. It is part of a health and well-being budget totalling £12bn, with £11.8bn for healthcare. As well as the £9.1bn to fund the day-to-day running of the health service, around £390 million will be spent on improving NHS buildings and equipment.
The funding for Scotland's 14 health boards represents a real-term rise of 3.3% on the previous year, the Scottish Government said.
Elsewhere, £133m will be used for sport and the Commonwealth Games in 2013-14 and £80m will be spent on supporting the integration of health and social care services. The lowest-paid NHS workers will receive up to 1% more wages in 2013-14.
But there is a downside. Boards will be asked to make efficiency savings of at least 3%, with the money reinvested in frontline care.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "We are committed to protecting spending on health, and this Budget reflects a funding increase in real terms for every territorial health board across Scotland.
"Despite a difficult economic climate, we know how important it is we continue to invest in our NHS. That is why we have protected health spending so we can continue to deliver a first-class service to patients across the country."
FOR years law and order was a battle ground in British politics and it remains contested turf south of the Border to this day. But as a political hot potato it has cooled greatly in Scotland since it was simplified down to the mantra "1000 extra police officers" five years ago by the SNP and backed by the Conservatives.
But the big change in the department's budget is a simple set of transfers reflecting the move to a single police force. It means the grant to local authorities – £583 million last year – drops to £86.5m this year and next. As a result the total justice budget leaps from £1.34 billion to £2.55bn.
Other parts of the justice budget fluctuate within expected bands, but with little controversy and mostly under the radar – except for Legal Aid, cut from £17.9m to £14m for the next two years with all the consequences claimed by defence lawyers and community law centres.
The budget for criminal injuries compensation is also on the slide, from £25.5m last year to £20.5m next and £17.5m the year after.
This will reflect a broader concern about the budgets for the overall court service, again declining over three years, as does the Scottish Tribunal Service which is being reformed and has a falling budget.
But Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will not be in the firing line over the Budget. Once you take heed of the unification of police and fire services, not much changes.