A goodly number
A reader takes The Sun to task for the multiplicity of errors in grammar in our pages. He is a teacher, and he wonders whether he should advise his students to avoid the paper, lest they be contaminated by its bad example.
The example he offers — "A relatively high NUMBER of Maryland high school students ARE..." — shows that he is well-intentioned but mistaken.
Number is one of those English words that can be either singular or plural, depending on context.
Attend: Several lawsuits were filed after the fire, and a number are pending. The number of successful lawsuits, however, is small. Nothing is objectionable about either sentence, and both should sound natural to a native speaker uncorrupted by faulty instruction in English class.
If my word on this isn’t good enough for you, say so in a comment, and I’ll post the relevant citations from Garner on Usage, Merriam-Webster, Fowler, Bernstein and the King James Version. But for the moment, I’m inclined to rest my aging wrists.