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The Philosophy Foundation

The Philosophy Foundation

A British educational charity raising attainment through doing philosophical enquiry in the classroom

The Philosophy Foundation is an award winning charity raising aspiration and attainment through doing philosophical enquiry in the primary and secondary classroom.

Its primary concern is to improve educational opportunities for the disadvantaged, and to enable every child to flourish and research has shown that this can be done through doing philosophy in the classroom.


Children learn to do philosophy not just learn about it

Our inclusive method of philosophy in schools places emphasis on supporting and guiding the development of understanding across the curriculum. Two recent independent reviews into education place an emphasis on the need to develop understanding rather than knowledge alone.

Philosophical Enquiry has been shown to develop:

  • Understanding across the curriculum and improve SAT results in English, Maths and Science
  • Speaking and listening skills vital for literacy and emotional development
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Collaborative classroom
  • Concentration
  • Improved behaviour and confidence

Putting experts in the classroom

The Philosophy Foundation is the only charity in the world that specifically trains and accredits philosophy graduates to do philosophy in schools, using our proven method of Philosophical Enquiry. Our specialist philosophy teachers visit primary and secondary schools on a regular basis to deliver weekly classes and work closely with classroom teachers to deliver lessons that can impact across the curriculum. 

Our method of doing philosophy has been recognised for its excellence by leading educationalists and academics around the world.

Social Impact

Creating a better society

Research has shown that doing philosophy has a positive impact on both educational attainment and employment prospects but more importantly it helps to create a better society.

For example, in ‘Transforming Thinking’ , Dr Catherine McCall describes a community project she ran in a deprived area of Glasgow. Other initiatives had to reduce aggression and violence but had failed. Philosophy was a last resort.

Four groups of children and three groups of adults were brought together from across the divide to engage in philosophical inquiry. Not only was this the first time they were engaging with philosophy, it was the first time they were entering into dialogue with those from the other group. The results were significant:

“Individual children improved their performance in school, their behaviour changed, and they gained the opportunity to get to know a whole segment of their community they would not otherwise have known. Society benefited directly from the reduction in violence and the lessening of the gang leaders’ power, as well as from the presence in the community of people who now had the skills and disposition to become active citizens and make further changes in their community.”

Excellent growth since starting in 2007

  • We have trained over 150 philosophy graduates from across the UK and Internationally.
  • We have worked in over 100 schools delivering regular philosophy lessons to approximately 7,500 students from London to the Highlands of Scotland.
  • Our work in schools has increased by 300% over the last 5 years.
  • We have a 90% re-contract rate.

Philosophy for every child

Our aim over the next 10 years is to have a resident philosopher in every school in the country able to continually aid the development of good thinking, and support good teaching practice.

We have established a campaign to make reasoning the fourth ‘R’ at the heart of the school curriculum, alongside reading, writing and arithmetic. It began in 2010 with ‘The Philosophers Football Match’

This culminated the Curriculum Review Team at the Department for Education stating philosophy and thinking skills as examples of what could be included in a schools local curriculum in their interim report of 2011. We continue to press the DfE and parliament about the need to include thinking and reasoning through philosophy in a national curriculum.


*This is a grant. Grants do not provide principal or a financial return back to your account.




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The Philosophy Foundation

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