The Pounds 14 million for talented pupils who would benefit from specialist schools is intended to safeguard the three existing music and dance schools in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Mr Dewar said when making the announcement on a visit to Knightswood Secondary in Glasgow, home of the national dance school of Scotland.
It would also encourage parents to consider such an education for their children, he said.
A consultation paper proposes that the residential costs of educating pupils at these schools should be met by the Government rather than the sending local authority.
It also suggests the money could be used to set up similar schools outwith the central belt and to add specialisms such as drama, the creative arts, science, technology, languages and PEsport.
Leader, page 10