Are you exasperated by the results of surveys?

The Light house is a constant centre of dismissing the results of many by stating “surely that is just common sense.

Here are two examples. Southampton University has served the number of birds killed on our roads and have discovered that the answer is pheasants. No reader will be surprised by this. It is obvious to any Cotswold motorist. Their corpses are everywhere.

Worst is still to come however. Read on. You will be aghast, rather than agog at the obvious result of this research. Poverty hampers progress in education. Of course it does. Penny and I have 60 years teaching in the Inner City. We both held senior managerial positions dealing with both the best pastoral and academic nature of education. Of course it does! In spades.

A middle class home offers space and opportunity for study at home to be easily undertaken. Books are readily available and family support and encouragement is usually forthcoming.

A pupil of secondary age, coming from a home where cash is scarce may have responsibility that prevent homework being done or revision undertaken. Perhaps he or she will need to look after siblings whilst mum does an evening job. Perhaps the vigour of family life and the small size of the dwelling will prevent any study at home whatsoever.

Despite their handicaps both of us were always thrilled to see so many young people being able to overcome such obstacles and obtain good results. However, it should not have needed research to prove poverty could be a barrier to progress.

There is some advice to anyone setting out on a research project that could incur expense and take up valuable time. The advice is simple. Pop round to the Twelve Bells, ask about your research subject, or indeed visit any Cotswold hostelry. The Britannia at Nailsworth, the Butchers Arms at Sheepscombe or the Old Spot at Dursley. You will find intelligence, common sense and wit readily available.

The only price you need pay is a round of drinks and in about two hours your question, however difficult will be answered. Think of all the time and money that will be saved.