Redbridge Council has rejected claims of a looming primary school places crisis.

Research by the Department of Education found 4,000 new places must be found in four years – the equivalent of eight new schools.

Many schools are already oversubscribed and the Labour opposition this week called for more to be done to address the issue.

Labour’s deputy group leader, Cllr Wes Streeting, described the amount of money needed to address the problem as “enormous”.

But Cllr Alan Weinberg, cabinet member for children’s services at the Liberal Democrat/ Conservative council, denied there was a crisis at a cabinet meeting yesterday.

And the council insists it is on track to meet demand, which is believed to have been created by a high birth rate.

A spokesman said: "The council has taken and is continuing to take serious action to address the demand for both primary and secondary places.

"It has provided an extra 5,985 permanent primary school places since September 2006, and 1,950 permanent secondary places since September 2006.

"A further 3,360 primary school places are in the pipeline for delivery between now and 2016. A further 1,800 secondary school places are also planned to be delivered by September 2016.

"The council has invested over £100m into permanent measures to increase school places in Redbridge, most recently agreeing at its budget meeting to allocate almost £46m to increase places in five schools across the borough.

"We are confident that we have plans in place to cope with the level of demand expected in the future, and we constantly review the pressure on school places so we can adjust our plans."

Cabinet last night approved a plan to increase intake at Ilford County and Woodford County High Schools by 50 per cent.