I was moved by Daniel Dylan Wray’s account of lone parenthood, domestic abuse and seeing his father for the first time across a courtroom (A moment that changed me, 1 February). I have a not dissimilar story, although I lived with my father, but I remember periods of parental separation as a welcome relief. In a similar Damascene moment, I went from angry teen to university, and, as a professor, I’m still there.
University was a door into another world. I fear that similar young people will not have a chance to experience those moments of relief, and support from public services, that I, and presumably Wray, enjoyed. The relentless attacks on financial and other support to lone parents, and the ensuing stigma, will make life almost impossible for families in similar situations today, as I outlined in the Guardian last year (Tories have shamed single parents and heaped financial pressure on them, 5 July 2022).
Prof Morag Treanor
• On the day when teachers were striking, Daniel Dylan Wray’s article was very moving. As a former English teacher who taught at a comprehensive for nearly 31 years, I can relate to his Mrs Stevens. I once took a group of teenagers to see the stage version of Of Mice and Men. Many of them had never set foot in a theatre and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Teachers open up a new world for so many youngsters, yet Tory ministers don’t appreciate what they do. If it weren’t for their teachers, many of them wouldn’t have ended up in parliament.