Just two headteachers could be in charge of seven primary schools on Arran, under plans drawn up by North Ayrshire Council.
Other authorities, including South Ayrshire, Scottish Borders and Shetland, have experimented with shared headships, but this is the most far-reaching move to date. Heads' leaders have warned the move is "a step too far".
The combined salaries of the existing heads is #163;321,594 which, together with falling rolls, has led the council to rethink the management of the primaries.
The Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland, which represents primary heads, claimed it was not opposed to joint headships in principle, but responsibility for three or four schools is too much, according general secretary Greg Dempster.
The heads would only be capable of "overseeing" them, not leading them, he said. "We do not think it would be possible to be properly engaged with and to lead development in four schools which have considerable travelling distances between them," he said. "It is a step too far." ES.