PARENTS and children taking part in a ground breaking new scheme to improve family relationships have graduated with flying colours.

Thirteen families took part in the Save the Children sponsored programme at St Margaret’s Primary School in Orford.

Over nine weeks, children aged five or six were joined by their parents and carers to develop their interaction skills, spend some quality time playing together and join the family for a cooked meal.

The Families and School Together (FAST) programme improves relationships within families and has been highly successful.

It also helps parents to make new friends in the community and share their experiences.

Christopher Metcalfe, head teacher at St Margaret’s, said: “The programme has been an overwhelming success, showing improved attendance and children’s attainment in basic skills, as well as deepening and enhancing community cohesion.

“It’s been a brilliant experience for all involved.”

Each week families had the chance to win a hamper filled with presents for mum, dad and the children.

Paula Newcombe from Save the Children said the course at St Margaret’s had a ‘phenomenal’ success rate, with 82 per cent of people who started the course completing it.

She said: “FAST has been so phenomenally successful and the feedback we get from schools and parents is always so positive.”