When is 'Ofsted approved' not Ofsted approved?

Watchdog first accuses publisher of lying over “Ofsted approved" claim but then admits it did check articles in question

John Roberts

Ofsted has faced controversy over the suggestion that it has approved articles on the curriculum.

Ofsted has made a partial climbdown after claiming that a commercial publisher's description of articles in a magazine as being "approved" by the inspectorate was a lie.

There has been controversy on social media about a magazine about the curriculum published by Cornerstones Education which has been sent to schools which promotes “Ofsted approved articles”.

Teachers have questioned whether Ofsted should be approving commercial articles on the curriculum - a major focus of its new inspections. 

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When asked by a headteacher on Twitter if it was lie that the articles were Ofsted approved the watchdog replied “yes”.

However Melanie Moore, from Cornerstones Education, then posted on Twitter to say that two articles in the publication were checked and approved by Ofsted.

She said: “It was done with full permission and liaison from Ofsted. It seems there has not been communication between their departments which has caused the tweet. It’s two articles that were checked by Ofsted to ensure they were factually correct."

The two articles in question are about what to expect during Ofsted's subject 'deep dives' and a frequently asked questions about inspection under the new Education Inspection framework.

The curriculum magazine is described as an Ofsted Inspection framework edition and also includes other pieces on "why subject leadership is crucial the success of your curriculum" and using knowledge organisers in primary school. 

Ofsted has since posted a clarification on Twitter.

It has said: “We would like to clarify: we were asked to fact-check some content for Cornerstones and we did so in the interests of accuracy. We do not ‘approve’ any commercial products."

Cornerstones Education was approached for a comment.


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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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