Today Smith writes:

‘I call up some teachers and parents and ask them if they’ve seen the new report on the Higher results. Yes, they’ve seen it, and no, they’re not surprised. They tell me about class sizes, and staff shortages, and the effect it’s all having on the kids. But they also tell me something interesting about how it might impact on the Scottish elections. My advice to the Government would be: sit up and pay attention because this is definitely going to affect you.’

‘I call up some teachers and parents’

You have to laugh. How many we wonder? Four or five? Less?

I know I keep doing the patronising Uni lecturer thing but, hey, it’s not good enough Mark. You need more than that even for the kind of journalism practised at the Herald. Have you thought of looking for some statistics to make your work evidence-based? It’s the latest thing.

Here’s how you do it. Remember before the election when you were all blaming the SNP for Scotland’s terrible Pisa results? I bet those same teachers and parents were fizzing then.

Well on 4th December 2019, the pollster Opinium asked a bigger sample than yours:

‘Which party so you trust on Education?’

And 56% said SNP, 36% said Conservatives, 7% didn’t know. The others got zero.

But, but, even better, there was an election where parents and teachers had the chance to make the SNP sit up and pay attention. How did that go? The SNP won more than 80% of the seats? Oh, what could that mean, I wonder? Don’t they care about the Pisa results? I know academics don’t much but surely Jackson Carlaw’s opinion counts for something?