Review proposed of primary schools in Caithness
A process which could see schools closed or amalgamated is about to move to Caithness.
Highland Council's education committee will be asked this week to approve a strategic review of the school estate in the far north.
It would examine the future of 18 primary schools which act as feeders for Wick and Thurso high schools.
A similar review in Lochaber resulted in two new primaries replacing five existing schools.
Consultants Caledonian Economics have been hired at a cost of £300,000 to help guide councillors' decisions on the future shape of school provision in different parts of the Highlands.
Thursday's meeting of the education, culture and sport committee will be asked to consider a report recommending the review in Caithness.
In November last year, the Scottish government gave its consent to proposals to close schools and build new ones in Lochaber.
It had previously described Highland Council's public consultation on the plans as "flawed".
Consent was given on condition that there would be further consultation once final plans on the closures and new buildings were available.
Fort William and Achintore primaries are to shut and the schools merged in a new building.
Catholic schools in Fort William and Lochyside are also to close and amalgamated on a site they will share with non-religious Caol Primary.