Another front in the Vestas jobs battle has been opened by the involvement of Vestas Technology in a plan to transform almost all the Isle of Wight's schools into Academies (privatised schools receiving public money but run by their business sponsors).
In a letter endorsing the Academies bid, Vestas Technology boss Rob Sauven says: "(We are) committed to helping raise educational standards on the Island and to supporting sustainable schools. We would in particular like to encourage the education curriculum to further students' understanding of the planet from the sustainability perspective and to explore the options we have to live sustainably."
Wouldn't schools, and the island economy, be more sustainable if Vestas handed over the blade factories to the Government and let the Government make the necessary investment to enable green-energy production to continue on the island and students to have a better chance of a green job to go to?
According to the one Labour councillor on the Tory-controlled county council, Geoff Lumley, the front-runner in a "competition" for school reorganisation being run by the Isle of Wight council is the Academies Enterprise Trust, an organisation with charitable status endorsed by Vestas Technology, with a scheme to establish an island "Academy Trust" which will manage the great majority of the island's schools, secondary and primary, as Academies under its umbrella - "a federation of seven schools, consisting of five academies, from the five high schools, and the two primary clusters. These seven institutions will be brought under a single island based management structure".
In its pitch, the AET lists its "local partners" as "Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry, Isle of Wight College, Primary Care Trust, UKSA , Quay Arts, Quarr Group, and Vestas Technology UK". Actually "partner" seems to mean little more than that Vestas and other bosses have written letters endorsing AET; but even that link taints the AET bid, and Academies are bad enough anyway.
As of present, Geoff Lumley says, he is an opposition of one on the council to the Academies scheme, but Vestas workers and supporters plan to add their voice. The full council meeting to make the final decision on Academies is 30 September, 18:00 in the Council Chamber at Newport.