Moray Council is currently operating without a dedicated director to oversee its under-pressure education service.
The local authority has opted not to fill the vacant post despite concerns having been raised about region’s school system by the Audit Scotland watchdog earlier this year.
A council spokeswoman said the position was not being filled because a consultation was currently under way on a proposal for a shake-up of the entire executive team.
It was announced in June that the council’s three directors would be replaced with two depute chief executive posts as part of plans designed to save more than £200,000 a year.
A consultation on the move is currently under way and any changes are expected to be introduced next month.
Laurence Findlay served as Moray Council’s director of education and social care since 2014 before he moved to Aberdeenshire Council last year.
Graham Jarvis became the authority’s acting director of education and social care, but he retired last month.
The council said in the interim period, before the new structure is finalised, responsibility for education would lie with chief executive Roddy Burns, with support from a temporary chief education officer.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “It’s disappointing that there is currently no director of education, following the retirement of the last incumbent.
“However, given the council are undertaking a review of the management structure I hope the lack of educational director is taken into consideration and a suitably qualified person is appointed in due course.”
The Scottish Conservative MP added: “Given Moray Council’s very public vision to improve educational standards in the area, having someone to lead this drive would seem crucial.”
Council leader Graham Leadbitter has previously stressed that addressing the areas for improvement identified by Audit Scotland and Education Scotland was one of the main tasks facing the authority over the next few years.
About £19 million also needs to be slashed from council spending over the next two years to ensure services can continue to operate.
The challenges within education in Moray include the need to fill vacant teaching posts – though in this area the authority has enjoyed success in recent years.
In the summer of 2018, the authority revealed that vacancies in its classrooms had dropped to a three-year low of 28 and it confirmed last month that it has even fewer posts to fill this year.
Last week, however, new figures revealed just 16 out of the authority’s 53 school buildings now meet the minimum standard of condition.
That is 30.2% of the estate – well below the national average of 86.2%.
Investment in schools maintenance has been restricted to “make do and mend” in recent years, which has resulted in the repairs backlog soaring from £59 million in 2016 to about £141 million now.
Every building owned by the authority is being examined as part of a wide-ranging review to better target resources.