Education bosses for Barking and Dagenham in east London are having to perform some impressive maths to cope with the biggest increase in primary school places anywhere in the country.

The 48 per cent increase between 2009 and 2014 amounts to 7,421 extra places.

Taking the brunt of the school places shortfall, the council claims one of the largest population changes seen in any borough across the country caused by a shift in the age profile of residents, a rise in birth rates and different migration patterns.

The authority says it is investing £68m in schools over the next three years to meet demand but warns there is more pressure to come.

It is predicting the secondary school population will increase from 14,900 to 21,189 by September 2020, with primary school numbers increasing from 22,549 to 29,550.

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for education and schools, said: “Barking and Dagenham is facing the most rapid child population increase in the country at the same time as having to provide school places despite dwindling finances.

“Funding has not been straightforward but we have worked very closely with our family of schools to bridge the gap in the shortfall in funding from the government to improve children’s outcomes and ensure a quality school place for every child.

“Now with the pressure turning towards secondary schools, it’s time for the government to step in and fill the gap in funding so that future generations of children in Barking and Dagenham can continue to be well educated and realise their highest aspirations.”