The UK government has rejected the proposal by Trevor Phillips, the head of the Commission for Racial Equality that, in the hope of tackling consistent academic underachievement by that group, black male pupils be taught separately for some subjects. The Department for Education and Skills says it would have “negative effects”.

Today a spokesperson from the ministry will call a special press conference to reassure worried middle-class parents that the policy of teaching children in separate state schools according to the size of their parents’ mortgages will continue.