Which school did you go to and when?

I left school on the eve of my 15th birthday. From five to 11 I was at St Mary's Forebank Primary School, and from 11 to 15 at St Michael's Junior Secondary School, both in Dundee. After working at Dundee Rep Theatre for a couple of years, I then went to drama school from the age of 17 to 19, at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Top teacher?

My education was a bit of a disaster. None of my subjects interested me and there was no history of would-be actors at any of the schools I went to. But I was influenced by probably four teachers: first, at my primary, was the charismatic headmaster, Brother Kenny. For the first three years I was taught by Marist Brothers, a lay teaching order that were pretty dynamic. Unfortunately this teaching was interrupted when they moved on to a new institution; as a result, my poor school suffered.

The new head, Mr Robertson, neglected my education and instead exploited my communicative skills by sending me on errands. I'd come into school in the morning, he'd call me into his office, prepare a list for me and send me off. I, in turn, took full advantage of the release from school and skillfully avoided attending any lessons. As a result I failed my 11+.

My next school, St Michael's, was a supply system for the would-be labour force of Dundee. I remember having to make my first boat in woodwork. The final result was clearly the product of someone with arrested development; not so much a boat as an ill-treated piece of timber. But it was here that I met two men who went a long way to reclaim me, Bill Dewar and George Hackett.

Mr Dewar introduced me to the theatre and Mr Hackett was responsible for getting me through the school system. In fact it was through Mr Dewar that I got an interview at Dundee Rep Theatre.

Were you hard-working or hard work?

I recently discovered my report card from 1959 to 61 and I was always top three in my class with a bare pass mark - what does that tell you about the rest of the class? So much for Scottish education at the lower level. It was torturous, unfulfilling work.

First team for everything or last to be picked?

Always very much the afterthought.

Belted, birched or bawled out?

Belted regularly through the sadistic auspices of one Gerry Devlin.

Sad to say bye or longing to leg it?

I couldn't wait to leave, and left early because of the job at the Rep. Clearly my tutelage at St Michael's had reached its zenith and as I actually had a job - unlike 90percent of my classmates - it behoved the headmaster to release me.

What was your worst year, or your best year?

The worst year blends from year to year of my entire education. The best year was the last year but my real education was at drama school, which exposed me to a panoply of life experiences.

What do you wish they taught now?

Inspiring the vision of the individual.

Boys on tour - what was the best school trip you've ever had?

To Saline in Fife, a trip organised for children of unfortunate circumstances, where I discovered sex and theatre at the age of 10.

Brian Cox stars in Woody Allen's new film, Match Point, released on Friday January 6