Scotland has learnt much from Denmark over the years, including how to foist school boards on a system that could not see the need for them. That followed a visit by Michael Forsyth.

The former education minister and senior Scottish Office advisers reciprocated by inviting hordes of Danish educationists to view the joys of testing, inspection, school self-evaluation and scores of performance indicators.

One senior Danish teacher saw it differently. "We have a lot to thank you for," she groaned.

Even in the laidback home of Rangers cult player Brian Laudrup (pronounced Brean Laudroop), where everyone seems to speak English, international comparisons are sending shockwaves through the education system.

Danish teachers have found children can't read as well as other Europeans, even with the presence of school boards. Teachers blame changing family patterns, computers and television and not the lack of curriculum rigour.

No doubt the Audit Unit would be pleased to advise.

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