So the NUT and the National Association of Head Teachers jointly propose a Sats boycott in 2010. But the NASUWT opposes this boycott and says league tables are the real issue, not Sats; the Association of Teachers and Lecturers is opposed to Sats and league tables, but won't support a boycott; and the Association of School and College Leaders considers it essential to keep some kind of external assessment at the end of primary school.
Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said he was "caught between a rock and a hard place". Perhaps he is following Machiavelli's advice that "a Captain should endeavour with every art to divide the forces of the enemy".
Professor Michael Bassey, Codington, Nottinghamshire.