I’M absolutely stumped as to why Swindon’s GCSE results are apparently still not good enough.

According to a new report, GCSE results remain below the national average.

As I’ve said, I can’t for the the life of me work out how this might have happened.

Perhaps it’s something to do with the pupils. Admittedly there’s absolutely no evidence that Swindon students are in any way lacking in aptitude when compared to their fellows elsewhere in the country, but something weird might be going on.

Maybe there’s been an unfortunate glitch in Pokemon Go or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and our schools have inadvertently been left so knee-deep in magical creatures and whatnot that that the young folk spend all their school hours chasing and catching them.

Maybe all the central heating systems have been mistakenly fitted with defective components which emit distracting high-frequency buzzing noises audible only to children and young adults, and none of them can concentrate on their GCSEs because their teeth are constantly on edge and they can’t hear what the teachers are saying.

Or perhaps the problem lies with the teachers.

Just as there is absolutely no evidence to suggest Swindon students are lacking in aptitude, there is a complete absence of evidence that our teachers are any less skilled, dedicated and hard-working than the teachers elsewhere in the country.

Could something be hampering their ability to do their jobs as well as they might? Do the staff rooms have only one brand of biscuit? Does it contain a rogue ingredient which affects the faculties?

Is there some other teacher-related issue? Do some of them still have leather elbow patches on their jackets? Might the leather have been treated with some chemical which is seeping into the air?

In my quest to come up with answers, I happened on some data about the Whitehall funding of education in this neck of the woods.

Unless my comprehension skills are a bit lacking, the most recent figures show an annual spend in Swindon of £4,283 per pupil. According to some other figures I found, the average spend in the region is nearly £5,200 while nationally the average is £4,700 per primary pupil and £6,200 per secondary pupil.

I only mention this to illustrate my thoroughness.

Spending per pupil obviously has no bearing whatsoever on GCSE performance, just as it has no bearing on class sizes, the availability of assistance for students with extra need, the availability of top-class equipment or anything else in the realm of education.

If it did, I’m sure lots of important local people would rise as one and demand a fairer deal for our children, no matter the political consequences.

For that matter, I’m sure past generations of those important local people would have done the same in years and decades gone by, when the short-changing of Swindon was even more pronounced.

We’re therefore no closer to solving the mystery. Perhaps somebody reading this can come up with the answer.

While they’re at it, there’s another conundrum - a rather more personal one - that I hope they can help me with.

Friends of mine recently bought a holiday home in a picturesque but isolated corner of central Europe which is dominated by a huge castle.

They say the place is quiet during the daytime but there are loads of people out and about after dark.

Anyway, even though the air is lovely and clean and the lifestyle relaxed, my friends keep waking up in the morning feeling listless and looking a bit pale.

I can’t help feeling there’s some obvious explanation that I’m overlooking.