Parliament praise for firm and school

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A Peterborough school and business have been recognised in The Parliamentary Review after transforming their fortunes.

Westcombe Engineering and St John Fisher Catholic High School were included in the document which showcases best practice to the public and private sector.

Westcombe Engineering, which is owned by Peterborough City Council - employs 20 staff, of which 13 have disabilities - and has seen turnover increase by 40 per cent in two years. The firm had been threatened with closure in 2010 after the council was told it was making big losses - but staff have now turned the company’s fortunes around.

General manager Andrew Lesiw said: “Today, Westcombe Engineering is thriving. Our sales have risen 40 per cent in the last two years, and continued investment in modern plant, equipment, employee training and development, alongside a rigorous focus on operational efficiency and productivity, has seen a significant improvement in key business drivers such as quality, cost and delivery.

“This has allowed our company to diversify beyond its traditional diesel engine component market to win new contracts in other industry sectors, although continuing to supply our long standing customer Caterpillar with diesel engine components will remain a core partnership for us.”

St John Fisher school was one of a handful of schools from across the country featured in the review.

“Less than 10 years ago the school was placed in special measures - but now it is rated as good, and regularly posts exceptional exam results after appointing head Sean Hayes in 2009.

The review said: “Over time there has been a steady improvement in outcomes, with a new high reached in 2016 when the Progress 8 measure placed the school in the top 10 nationally. Although this was largely down to an improvement in teaching, it also reflected the school focusing on promoting an eagerness to learn.”

Mr Hayes said: “We are delighted to have been selected to feature in this year’s Review. Although the invitation resulted from excellent exam results, it has allowed us to promote all the other things that we do well and these have come across brilliantly in the article. This has been a welcome boost for the school community and a validation of the work that we do.”