A move from a three-tier model of lower, middle and upper schools to a system of primary and secondary has moved a step closer in Bedfordshire.
The recommendation was unanimously approved on Tuesday by the county council's executive committee.
The authority said the move will help improve standards of education.
Those opposed to the plan are concerned at the possibility of school closures if it goes ahead. A final decision by the council will be made on 13 July.
The majority of parents in lower schools and middle schools who took part in a consultation were in favour of retaining the current three-tier system.
Madeline Russell, leader of Bedfordshire County Council, said: "Standards of education in Bedfordshire are not as high as they should be, particularly for older children.
"Our children's exam results are not good enough when compared with the results of children in areas that operate a two tier system. We believe even our best schools would get better results in that system.
"If the council agrees to change then our top priority will be the children currently in the system.
"We will work with the school communities, parents and the public to ensure change is handled carefully and gradually and their progress is not disrupted."