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£3.5bn extra for education as secret Tory plan revealed

A RAFT of dramatic and controversial education measures are to be announced by the government within days, according to a confidential briefing paper seen by The Guardian.

They include billions of pounds in new funding, a crackdown on student behaviour and a further wave of free schools.

There are also plans to increase teachers’ starting salaries to £30,000 by 2022 and offer academy trusts cash incentives to take over struggling schools.

The briefing document, dated August 22 and marked ‘Official-Sensitive’, details proposals for schools in England which are designed to be rolled out over the coming weeks.

The paper, which is under discussion between the Department for Education (DfE) and No.10, is seen as an attempt to seize the initiative on education before a possible autumn election.

Some of the proposals, including an extra £3.5billion in funding for schools and colleges, are expected to be broadly welcomed. But there may be concerns in some quarters over a package of disciplinary measures that include a renewed emphasis on exclusions and allowing teachers to use ‘reasonable force’ to improve behaviour.

Last night, the DfE said: ‘The prime minister has made clear that we will increase minimum levels of per pupil funding in schools and make real terms increases to education funding. We will be announcing more details in due course.’