Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today accused the media of telling lies and attempting to mislead the public on moves to draft a new Constitution.The Prime Minister said that several newspapers had today carried a news item with an image of the Chief Prelate of the Malwattu chapter, the most venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero, saying the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters had opposed drafting a new Constitution. Wickremesinghe said that he had spoken to the Chief Prelate of the Malwattu chapter and found that he was not in the country and did not attend any talks related to the Constitution while the Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter had also not attended the meeting. Members of the council said that they feel the new Constitution is detrimental as it looks at devolution of powers.However the Prime Minister claims the media had misreported matters related to the meeting by the monks. The Prime Minister questioned if the media do not want the Government to implement the mandate given by the people.He wanted the journalists to telephone their Editors in front of him and ask them why they published misleading stories.The Prime Minister then ended the press conference as the journalists remained silent. (Colombo Gazette) The Joint Sangha Council of the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters of the Siam Sect reached this decision following a meeting held in Kandy yesterday.
Teachers should not be expected to toilet train four year olds, the Ofsted chief has said, as she she says it is parents’ responsibility. Delivering her second annual report as the body’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman will, later this week, restate how a rising number of children are starting school without being able carry out basic functions like communicating and using the loo. The Chief Inspector will highlight the growing evidence of children arriving at reception unable to use a toilet, concluding that: “This is difficult for teachers, disruptive for other children and has a terrible social impact on the children affected. This is wrong. Toilet training is the role of parents and carers and should not be left to schools. Only in the most extreme cases should parents be excused from this most basic of parenting tasks.” Earlier this year Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, said that “society asks more of schools than it did a generation ago”, as he recognised the scale of the demands placed on teachers. Teachers are now expected to look after pupils’ mental health and check for signs of radicalisation, as well as monitor health and social issues such as domestic violence. In front of an audience of education and social care professionals in central London, Ms Spielman will also highlight a blurring of the lines of responsibility for tackling issues such as obesity, child neglect and gang-related violence. She will emphasise that by expecting schools to tackle such matters we risk not only distracting them from their core purpose but also failing to solve the problems – such complex matters need to be dealt with by those with the correct knowledge and expertise Ms Spielman is expected to say: “Our education and care services don’t exist in isolation from the local areas they serve. They are and should be a central part of our communities. But being part of a community means being very clear what your responsibilities are, and what issues, however worthy, can only be tackled beyond the school, college or nursery gates.”With reference the the recent rise in knife crime among young people, she will add: “Most of our schools are safe, and we fully support measures, including zero tolerance policies on the carrying of knives, to keep them that way.”But beyond that, while schools can play a role in educating young people about the danger of knives, they cannot be a panacea for this particular societal ill. Instead, preventing knife crime requires all local safeguarding partners to work together to protect children from harm whilst the relevant agencies tackle criminal activity and bring to justice youths and adults who cause harm to children.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.