17th August 2001 at 01:00
* In "When the going gets tough" (Talkback, TES, July 27) Mark Edwards warns against underestimating children because of their difficult home lives. In 1964 I was one of these children. I had been to seven primaries when I arrived at senior school. Then a teacher, Mr Brown, took me for a walk, listened, let me cry and told me I had much ability in one academic area. He had shown me my escape route.

I did not need hugs, and certainly did not want other pupils to see my distress. Mr Brown in his quiet way started the cure and changed my life.

Anne Carlill

Throstle Nest

Forge Lane, Wike, Leeds

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