TEACHER bashing and school scapegoating by the Conservative-supporting media always accompany the release of examination results.

Why? Because they provide a window into the class realities of the British education system.

So are the Tories friends or enemies of our school system?

The most recent set of A-level results revealed private schools for the rich did even better than usual. Predominantly working class regions, like the North East, have fallen even farther behind leafy, posh south east England.

Above all what these results show is that wealth, not ability, is the biggest determinant in educational achievement.

Add in the Conservatives’ defunding of vocational and skills education and their spiteful neglect of arts subjects like music tuition and the picture under the Tories is bleak.

Private schools now educate more than half-a-million UK children.

The fees these schools charge are almost double the per capita spend on children in the state sector and, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, this gap has doubled since 2010.

Private education, concentrated almost entirely among the very wealthy, buys you more than smaller classes and better facilities.

It opens the door to a world of string-pulling and back-scratching and possibly even a key to the door of 10 Downing Street!

Labour’s proposal to remove the tax breaks for private schools will end this outrageous subsidy of the rich but it won’t end the anti-democratic role of the private school sector.

Only a fundamental change in society will do this!

C Walker, Darlington.