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It didn't work in England

Dave Jones, director in Clackmannanshire, who previously worked in the north-east of England and has seen authorities there taken over, said that the strategy merely reshuffled the pack.

"Some of the directors driven out became inspectors," Mr Jones noted.

He added: "If they are going to get these wider powers, what are they going to do with them? If there is a group of support people who can go in and change things, they should be in there now."

Mr Jones has already acted on less than impressive exam results among the authority's three secondaries and has put in an adviser to help push up attainment.

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