Fat people are to be banned from entering, or enrolling at English schools.
The ban, from next September, has been announced by UK Education Secretary Ruth Kelly as the next phase in the Government's healthy lifestyles campaign. It is thought Scottish and Welsh schools will also fall into line.
The Children's Weights and Measures Review Panel will meet next week to discuss an agreed body mass index (BMI) over which children and teenagers will be sent home to lose weight. The likely level is to be set at 25 however it is probable that this will be raised to 30 in the North East of England to ensure that at least some pupils go to school.
"I am absolutely clear that the reason there is so much junk food in our education system is because we have too many fat people," said Ms Kelly. "So today I can announce that we will ban overweight pupils in schools from next September."
The monitoring of children's weight will be the responsibility of the Ofsted school inspectors.
David Cameron, opposition spokesman, and hopeful in the Conservative Party leadership race, today welcomed the initiative, "as far as it goes", but felt that the government statement only scratched the surface of the problem. "When will this be extended to teachers and school governors? There are millions of overweight headmasters all over the country," he stated.
What about the Clarkes?
Kelly retorted that this was merely the first stage in the campaign against obesity and that the ban would extend to all walks of life by 2008. To emphasise her point, she stated that it was unlikely that John Prescott and Charles Clarke would be in the Cabinet by then.
Given former Chancellor Ken Clarke's attempt to beat Cameron for the leadership of the Conservative Party, the young pretender agreed to provide conditional support to the government.
The Liberal Democrats have no Clarke's in parliament and therefore declined to comment.
TV chef Jamie Oliver welcomed the initiative, but noted that Britain had been totally swamped by celebrity cookbooks this month and demanded that all, but his own, are withdrawn from sale in the lucrative run up to Christmas.