Scottish Conservative education spokeswomen Elizabeth Smith has told MSPs it was time to explore alternative models for delivery of school education so that head teachers could be empowered, standards raised and parental choice increased.
Ms Smith led the debate on the management of schools on 11 March 2010.
She highlighted Swedish publically funded, independently run "free schools" and the community trust model for schools put forward by East Lothian Council as worthy of consideration and debate.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said he would visit Sweden and Finland to study their education systems in the coming week.
Mr Russell said the Swedish and Scottish educational attainment were "broadly similar", but there may well be lessons that could be learned from both countries.