Fourteen secondaries across the country will see improvements in the quality of their buildings and facilities.

The announcement coincided with the launch of the Government's strategy on future school building and refurbishment.

Ms Hyslop said: "This Government and local authorities are already on track to lift 100,000 school pupils, by 2011, out of tired and crumbling school buildings and classrooms and providing them with cutting-edge accommodation and facilities in which to continue their 21st century education.

She added it was the “latest step towards going even further and demonstrates our continued commitment to providing every pupil with the same high-quality experience for their school building."

The Scottish Futures Trust will have a central role in managing this new school-building programme, alongside local authorities.

Ms Hyslop was also today officially opening the Armadale Academy in Midlothian, which she described as "inspirational".

It will now be up to local councils to decide if refurbishments are needed at the schools announced today or if new buildings are needed, with the final cost yet to be finalised.

The £1.25bn investment was first announced by Ms Hyslop to Parliament in June to build 55 schools. It comprises £800m from central government, with the remainder coming from local councils.

The schools affected by the announcement are Lasswade High School in Midlothian; Ellon Academy and Mearns Academy in Aberdeenshire; Brechin High in Angus; Dalbeattie High in Dumfries and Galloway; Harris Academy in Dundee; Eastwood High in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire; James Gillespie's in Edinburgh and Auchmuty High in Fife.

Part of the funding will also go to Wick High in the Highlands, Garnock Academy in North Ayrshire, Clyde Valley High in North Lanarkshire, Ayr Academy in South Ayrshire and Dumbarton Academy in West Dunbartonshire.

The first secondary school should be completed by 2013 and the first primary school in 2011.

Schools were chosen on the basis of need and the local council's key priorities, among other criterion.

The cabinet secretary, along with local council body Cosla, has also published the Government's new school estate strategy, Building Better Schools.

Cosla education spokeswoman Isabel Hutton said: "The strategy describes schools that will respond to challenges we all face - whether this is inequality in our communities or global climate change.

"But first and foremost the strategy describes schools that are stimulating places to learn, where the very fabric and construction of buildings and open spaces can help teachers deliver the curriculum for excellence."