Parents will be consulted over possible changes to the schools system which could see secondary pupils sitting fewer exams.
Youngsters in the middle years could find themselves sitting six subjects instead of eight once the long-running standard grades are replaced by new national qualifications in August.
The possible alterations are being made as part of the changes to the national Curriculum for Excellence.
Fears have been raised peripheral courses like art or music may suffer.
One concerned parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “That’s going to have quite an impact on the breadth of a child’s education and an impact on the [school] departments that are not key departments.
“This is a money saving opportunity for the authority as they are then submitting fewer subjects for examination and they can cram more pupils in per teacher.
“We are robbing the children of their educational opportunities. I am grieved that parents have not been informed. It is so important it should be out there for discussion.”
However, quality improvement manager for the SIC schools service Matthew Moss insisted consultation will be carried out before any changes are made.
Mr Moss said: “One of the options we are considering is a reduction from the current model where most young people may sit, or have the opportunity to sit eight standard grades, and reducing that to six national qualifications … but with wider opportunities to study further qualifications throughout the senior phase.
“We’ve had discussions with head teachers, we have been consulting with staff, and of course we will be coming out and having further consultations with parents in time.”