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Spencer Pitfield: Immigration and education on the Conservative Policy Forum's agenda

Pitfield SpencerDr Spencer Pitfield, is the National Voluntary Director of the Conservative Policy Forum (CPF), a national group chaired by Oliver Letwin MP that gives its members the opportunity to discuss the major policy challenges facing Britain today. Follow Spencer on Twitter.

Another month, another challenging topic for the CPF. As if a by-election weren’t enough to be getting on with, we are asking Members their views on Further and Higher Education and all of the big questions are in there: Is the current percentage of young people going to university correct? What is the right balance between state and student payment for university education? How should we seek to promote social mobility in university intakes?

But it isn’t just the controversial stuff that we are interested in hearing about. We know that Members care deeply about the quality of other routes to qualification, so we want to know how the Party could make qualifications in Further Education easier to understand – for young people leaving school, their teachers and their parents, as well as employers. And we’re asking for suggestions about using technology in all types of education over the next few decades. Lots of important topics to mull over whilst you are out delivering that next batch of leaflets...

Or why not take them out on the campaign trail with you? We are now producing short sets of questions for campaigners to use on the doorstep. I was out on Tuesday with our Vice Chairman Fiona Hodgson, putting them to good use in the Eastleigh sunshine.

There has been a lot of talk in the papers recently about the value of local campaigning and we all know that this is more complex than simply living in an area – Maria Hutchings is a strong candidate for Eastleigh not just because of her postcode but because she has put in the time talking to people about issues both local and national. The CPF can help to facilitate those conversations and is a great way for candidates (aspiring or selected) to boost their credentials and deepen their understanding. That is why we are working with the campaigns team to roll out CPF Groups to all of the 40/40 campaign as soon as possible. Can you help us?

Also on the CPF website this week is the thorough and informative response from Mark Harper MP, Minister for Immigration, to our report on Members’ views on Immigration and coming up in March is our paper on Working Families.

See you on the campaign trail!


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