Many on the left throughout history and today have felt the only way to create equality is to restrict the freedoms of some in society to make those choices they feel are best for them and their families.

Freedom has always been the enemy of the left in politics, socialism cannot tolerate aspiration or that very human desire to achieve.

I am lucky enough to have been a governor at Bury’s only state nursery school, Hoyle for more than 10 years.

Hoyle is a living embodiment of how education, more than anything else provides the opportunity for the state to invest in the futures of its people for life.

Academic evidence has highlighted developmental goals during early years are directly linked to later life chances, more than at any other stage in a child’s educational journey.

Hoyle has pupils from all backgrounds, with many who do not speak English as their first language.

It has an outstanding special educational needs provision and is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

State nursery schools are engines for social mobility, and I’m proud to be a champion for them in Parliament as the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Nursery Schools.

As the child of a single-parent family, I was state-educated and will be forever grateful to my teachers for providing me with an enriching educational journey that I still benefit from today.

The choices I make in my life today are directly linked to the aspiration and skills that my teachers and family taught me.

One of those choices is to send my son to a fee-paying school, Bury Grammar.

Bury Grammar has been a huge part of the town’s history and heritage since 1570.

Like every school, it is an institution to be cherished and is estimated to account for approximately one per cent of Bury’s GDP.

Due to the school’s charitable status and its scholarship programme, one in seven of the pupils attending are exempt from fees, about 200 children.

Bury Times: One of the Bury Grammar School buildingsOne of the Bury Grammar School buildings (Image: Google Maps)

Pupils come from hugely diverse backgrounds but from my own experience, those parents who send their children to Bury Grammar are not multi-millionaires but people from ordinary backgrounds making extraordinary financial sacrifices in their own lives to do their best for their children.

Labour’s proposal to add 20 per cent VAT to school fees within a year if it comes to power is therefore deeply depressing.

It’s not only a direct attack on an institution that at its core is committed to ensuring it can positively influence the life chances of as many Bury children as possible but on those parents who work night and day to have the freedom to choose where their children should be educated.

It is indeed nauseating to see Labour politicians who have benefitted from a private school education now attack those same institutions, but the left as ever is wedded to ideology and class warfare over the hopes and aspirations of thousands of ordinary parents throughout the country.