Details of the Scottish Office's spending package for 1998-99 were emerging as we went to press.
Councils welcomed an extra Pounds 146 million for education. But Pounds 116m of it was provided in the July budget, while Pounds 8m for after-school clubs and childcare was announced earlier. Another Pounds 17m for higher education and Pounds 5m for further education accounts for the rest.
However, ministers have also been able to switch Scottish Office spending to produce Pounds 9m more for pre-fives on top of Pounds 67m which is largely money restored to councils from nursery vouchers, and another Pounds 3m for further education.
Brian Wilson, the Education Minister, said the extra Pounds 25m for further and higher education next year was "the first fruits" of the Government's tough decisions on student finance.
Full details will be published in The TESS next week.