A plan to increase pupil numbers at two grammar schools by 50 per cent has been given the green light.

Redbridge council’s cabinet last night agreed to launch a public consultation on a proposal to increase yearly intake at Ilford County and Woodford County High Schools from 120 to 180.

The expansion could be completed in time for the 2016/17 academic year.

The council has not revealed whether the entry criteria for the schools will change.

A £132,000 study commissioned by Redbridge council concluded there is sufficient space at both sites for additional classrooms and facilities, which would cost £22million.

Cllr Alan Weinberg, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “It is with great pride to be able to present this expansion.

"We know the aspirations of parents in this borough and we intend to meet them.

“I very much look forward to the grand opening of these schools.”

“Contrary to press reports we do not have a crisis in regards to school places.

“Since 2006 we have increased places at schools in the borough by 8,000 to meet the extra demand.

"We receive £180 million from central government to help achieve this and we have done a great job."

Research by the Department of Education recently found primary schools in Redbridge must expand by the equivalent of eight new schools to meet demand by 2017.