Plans for a major reform of education services in Gloucester have come under fire from former chief inspector of schools Chris Woodhead.
Several schools could close under the reform plans
A number of the city's best performing schools could be closed under proposals to reduce the gap between the lowest and highest-achieving establishments.
Speaking on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Mr Woodhead said the controversial shake-up should be scrapped.
He said the changes were unnecessary and could do more harm than good
Mr Woodhead said: "The solution for me is the obvious one - encourage, support, make the poorly performing schools better rather than upset the whole system and perhaps damage irrevocably the excellence of the schools that are performing well."
Gloucester's 13 schools are all affected by the reforms, billed as the biggest shake-up in the city's education system since the advent of comprehensive schooling.
Three schools, including the historic Crypt School which dates back to 1539, could close, and others would merge or see their sixth-forms shut and moved to a central college.
The city council's cabinet is meeting on 5 March to discuss the options and decide how to proceed.