PARENTS have stepped back to the classroom to brush up on their homework skills.

The Family Learning project tackles the common fear some parents face when their children ask for help with reading, maths and homework.

Most of the 550 learners started the course unemployed but after 12 months of weekly courses, 70 per cent have gone on to work, training or further education.

Alexandra Daisy, 37, from Hilperton, won an award in recognition of her work helping daughter Melissa, eight, catch up after falling behind at school.

The Closing the Gap award was presented to her during an awards ceremony held in Trowbridge Civic Centre.

Ms Daisy and daughter Melissa had moved to the area from Kent, causing Melissa, to slip behind in her work while at Staverton Primary School.

Ms Daisy said: “At first I only intended do the course because of the coffee and cake, but the more I heard about it I thought I would give it a try.

“I was depressed and struggling to get up in the morning, but this has given me something to get up and out for.

“It was a long time since I had been in a classroom, but soon after I started going I was able to help her at home and everything began going well.

“The biggest change in Melissa is her willingness to go to school. Before she didn’t want to go there.

“Her work started getting better at school and now she is completely caught up.

“I was shown what the children were learning at school which meant I could help her at home. It has also helped me in other way such as when I am out shopping now and I see a discount I can work it out instead of going to the till and hoping for the best.

“This is the first year that Melissa has gone back to the same school two years running. The biggest change has been my confidence. When Melisa comes home with homework now I know what she has got and how to help her.

“When I was told I had won the award I couldn’t believe it. I remember hearing Melissa shout ‘that’s my mum’ when I went up to get it and that was brilliant.”

Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “The awards event was a perfect chance to celebrate the learners’ hard work and successes over the last 12 months.

“It can be a brave step to go back into education when you left school behind maybe a long time ago, and these individuals deserve an enormous amount of credit and admiration for making that move.”