Sam Coates, over at his splendid new blog, writes that the Tories have been indulging in some clothes stealing by adopting the Lib Dem idea for a pupil premium for poorer children. I’ve no doubt that Sam is right about what motivated the timing of the announcement, but it is my understanding that this has always been part of Tory thinking on the issue. James O'Shaughnessy, the Tory head of policy, was an enthusiastic advocate of such a scheme when he was at Policy Exchange and Michael Gove has long been supportive of the idea.
As Comment Central points out, the Tories haven't yet explained how large the premium would be or how they would pay for it. But this announcement is more proof that education is the area where Tory thinking is most developed and most radical.