By Anna Firth, CPF National Voluntary Director
This year has seen the first ever publication of a Conservative Policy Forum Yearbook revealed in printed form at the Conservative Party Conference and now available in full here.
Some 218 high-quality policy proposals were received from Members across the country showing what a strong appetite there is amongst conservative members to engage in the policy debate. Those 218 initial proposals were then whittled down to 15 winning entries by ten Judges including Peers, Members of Parliament and senior policy advisers, all of which were written up into well-argued policy proposals following a policy masterclass with the CPF Manager, John Hayward.
Conservative Policy Forum members then voted for the top 4 policies to be debated on stage at Party Conference in Manchester. Not only were two of the top 4 policies on education, those two policies were voted overwhelmingly the most two popular policies put forward. PM Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, is a party that believes in putting education at the heart of levelling up.
The winning idea was pitched by Shabana Raman, Director of Mathematics Improvement, at East Kent Colleges, Canterbury CPF.
Shabana proposed the creation of the Britain’s first live, interactive online Academy delivering free, live lessons to students of all ages. Shabana argued that the pandemic has exacerbated educational inequalities between the private and the public sector and that we must seize this opportunity to invest in and modernise our education system to and to close the attainment gap by putting power into parents’ hands, through a live, government-funded, out-of-school, teaching provision.
Shabana also pointed out that as well as closing the existing education gap, a national online academy would be a backup provision in case the pandemic resurges.
CPF also ran successful joint events with the Conservative Science and Technology Forum and with the Conservative Women’s Organisation, as well as a successful drinks reception with the Home Secretary as guest speaker, who underlined the vital importance of fresh ideas and grassroots policy-making as we emerge from the pandemic and build back better. Our Party stand also saw a constant flow of visitors.
The Conservative Policy Forum is the Party's grassroots-led think tank, directed by Voluntary Director Anna Firth, run by CPF Manager Dr John Hayward, chaired by CPF Chairman John Penrose MP with assistance from Head of Innovation and Digital Katrina Sale, and CPF Vice-Chairman Peter Booth, who also serves as Chairman of the National Conservative Convention.