About Us

Our courses
Principles and practice
Featured Tutors
The Arts


Here you can see a timeline of some key events in our history, and a film about our origins.

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Principles and Practice

The School has adopted various working principles with the aim of protecting the integrity of its work and the welfare of its students.

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Featured Tutors

All of our tutors are volunteers, giving their time willingly to pass on what they've learnt at the School. Meet some of them here. You can see some of our Tutors speaking about what they love about the role on our YouTube channel.

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Stories, news, and views from affiliated schools around the world.

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The Arts

Central to the ethos of the School is a love of the arts, and it is in our charitable aims that we support and nurture arts and sciences through lectures, seminars and concerts.

Find out more


Nine members of the Executive Committee (including the Principal and Treasurer) are elected each year at the AGM and are the Trustees of the Charity. In addition, in most years, the committee is strengthened by the addition of two or three co-opted members.

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We have produced a short film about our history. View it here.


Publication of Progress and Poverty by Henry George (1839 – 1897)


Birth of the School's founder, Leon MacLaren


Henry George School of Economics founded (renamed the School of Economic Science in 1942)


First series of Philosophy courses are offered, developed from the teachings of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff


First overseas school established in Wellington


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi visits the UK, bringing the next stage of development, meditation


First meeting of Leon MacLaren and Shri Shantananda Saraswati


Mr MacLaren passes away. Mr Donald Lambie succeeds him as School Leader


Death of Shri Shantananda Saraswati and first meeting with Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati


The 'free term' for Philosophy and Economics is offered for the first time, allowing even more people to experience the School's courses


The Fellowship votes to alter the Objects, changing the name of the School to the School of Philosophy and Economic Science

Principles and Practice

The School has adopted various working principles with the aim of protecting the integrity of its work and the welfare of its students. These include the following:

The intent of the School is that everyone attending, however long or short their stay, will find something of value in their lives

All are welcome to sample what the School has to offer through the introductory courses, and to continue further with their studies if so inclined

All tutors, with the exception of the Senior Tutor, continue to be students of philosophy in the School

Tutors give their time for free

Course fees are used to enable the School to continue offering its courses to as many people as possible and are kept to a practical minimum. Fees do not cover capital expenditure, which is made possible by donations, loans and legacies from students with the means to contribute in this way

Students are asked not to indulge in criticism of others, but to practise tolerance and respect towards fellow students

The School is a registered educational charity, regulated by the Charity Commission in England and Wales and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in Scotland.

All matters relating to tutoring are led by the Senior Tutor, Donald Lambie. He decides the direction and content of course material and studies, deals with the appointment of tutors and other related issues.

On the organisational side, the legally constituted body is known as the Fellowship of the School of Economic Science. This is made up of some 240 students who become Fellowship members through a process of nomination and, if appropriate, formal acceptance.

Donald Lambie

Donald Lambie is our Senior Tutor and school leader. When the founder of the School of Economic Science Leon MacLaren died in 1994, he was succeeded by Mr Lambie, who was a barrister.




All of our tutors are volunteers, giving their time willingly to pass on what they've learnt at the School. Meet some of them here. You can see some of our Tutors speaking about what they love about the role on our YouTube channel.


Featured Tutors

Sherry Moran

Sherry Moran is an American now living in London with her husband. She has been a student, and then a tutor, in SES for 35 years.

Sherry joined the philosophy school whilst living and working in New York. Her business career began in New York where she had several Wall Street positions. Sherry's work required a lot of travel and it was the London trips that enticed her to move there in 1989. London seemed the perfect place to fulfil her dream of being an entrepreneur. Since Sherry didn’t really understand the ‘dos and don’ts’ of the complex English culture, she was free to just pursue what was necessary to build her first business using her communications skillset from corporate America.

Today Sherry enjoys the culture, fashion and creativity of London. She organised the Ceramics section of SES’s Art in Action festival for 26 years. Sherry serves as a mentor to many young people starting out in business and is an active member of the London chapter of the Women’s President Organisation (WPO), a support organisation for woman who run substantial businesses.

Patrick Wyatt

Patrick Wyatt, originally from Kent, works as a successful jeweller in London’s historic Hatton Garden area. After a childhood interest in demolition, and a brief stint working in newspapers, Patrick came to work in Hatton Garden through a recommendation and has never looked back. Since 2001, he has run his own jewellery business which takes him all over the world. He particularly loves that the jewellery industry is based on trust and goodwill, and enjoys interacting with old and new customers.

Patrick currently tutors Practical Philosophy to students who have been attending courses at SES for more than a year. He says that his favourite part of being a tutor is the students, who inspire him as they overcome obstacles using Practical Philosophy in their everyday lives.

Patrick lives in London with his wife, an artist. He is a long-term student of the School and credits Practical Philosophy with helping him to live in the present.

Elina Grigoriou

Elina Grigoriou has been a student of Practical Philosophy since 2007. Born in Athens, Greece she moved to the UK in 1996 and currently lives in South West London. Professionally, after obtaining a BA(Hons) in Interior Design, she worked in commercial interior companies for 10 years before setting up her own business with her sister Angeliki, based in Bloomsbury, London.

Part of her professional life is also involved with championing a sustainable approach to design and supporting the wellbeing of occupants. In 2016 Elina was awarded Honorary lifetime membership of the RICS in recognition of her work with sustainability.

A fan of the outdoors and sports Elina spent two years as a professional basketball player, has run a marathon and recently swam the English Channel in a team relay. You will find her swimming in Hyde Park's Serpentine all through the year, or enjoying an art show at the Academy of Arts. Questions on life and purpose have been present since the early teenage years and through becoming a philosopher, she has been able to find answers and a structure to apply a healthy inquiry to living happily.

Geoff Murray

After leaving school Geoff was all set with a place lined-up at Glasgow University to read English and Philosophy. Although he enjoyed the first year there, the prospect of an apprenticeship-style position in London’s jewellery trade held more sway. He left university and never looked back.

Having an artistic background helped engage with the aesthetic nature of jewellery but the main draw of the work was to do with people. Geoff loved being a part of the all-but-hidden community of craftspeople in central London. Although a combination of part-time courses in jewellery design, diamond-grading and jewellery valuation helped, Geoff learnt mostly by asking questions. This informs his approach to practical philosophy too. To have real questions about life, and yourself, is tremendously valuable and he would say that it is essential to have a space to explore those questions with like-minded people. Meditation has been an integral part of life for him; having practiced since he was 10 years old he would say that some of his most profound experiences have come through it.

In his spare time Geoff enjoys playing capoeira and open-water swimming, particularly in winter when the bragging rites are enhanced by the cold. He is happiest when by the ocean, in the mountains, or on an adventure.


Insight connects students of philosophy from across the globe.

We are affiliated to schools of philosophy all over the world, from Israel to Argentina, Malta to Australia. Insight shares stories and experiences, news and views from students, speaking about their lives and interests, and how they apply practical philosophy to their lives.

Visit Insight to see the latest posts, view back issues, and sign up to receive the termly newsletter.


The Arts

Central to the ethos of the School is a love of the arts, and it is in our charitable aims that we support and nurture arts and sciences through lectures, seminars and concerts.

Music at Mandeville Place and beyond

The School has a vibrant and passionate music faculty. In 2019 there are already planned Come & Sing days and rush-hour recitals; further details can be found on our Events page.

Our choir Discantvs is open to those in the School and beyond, meeting weekly and putting on regular performances.

Abhinaya (Indian dance)

Abhinaya is a traditional form of Indian Dance which provides an opportunity to experience the joy of movement arising from inner stillness. The School has an Abhinaya group that meets four times a term, and newcomers are welcome. This group is administered by the branch of the School in Croydon, demonstrating the School's commitment to the arts throughout the UK.

The Arts

Until 2016, every July up to 400 artists, crafters, performers and musicians gathered together in Waterperry Gardens to demonstrate their skills and show their work. You could watch the potter pot, the painter paint and the sculptor sculpt. You could ask the masters of the arts of jewellery, textiles, woodwork and glassblowing about the secrets of their craft. In the ever popular Practical Classes section, you could have a go yourself at the art or craft of your choice with the guidance of an expert teacher.

In 1977, 51 artists and musicians took part in the first Art in Action and 14,000 visitors arrived. In 2016,  Art in Action welcomed approximately 28,000 people over four days. Visitors came to learn, buy and enjoy the exhibitions, classes and performances.

In 2016 the decision was taken to end Art in Action in its current form. The plan is very much to develop Waterperry House and Gardens as a centre for the Arts, and we have been working with other organisations to extend the range of events that are available at Waterperry House. In 2019, Waterperry Opera Festival will be returning to Waterperry House for a second year, just one example of the events showcasing the house and grounds. You can see the wide range of events at Waterperry on the What's On at Waterperry page.

Waterperry House is  a residential centre for the School of Economic Science. The famous frescoes at Waterperry can be viewed via guided tour every Friday at 2pm. Visit the Waterperry Gardens website for more details.


Stephen Silver - Principal

Stephen has been practising philosophy for over forty years, having started attending classes in New York in 1974. He is now retired from a career in IT and Project Management. Among his activities in the School, he looks after the Berkshire Branch and runs the Gita study weekends. Stephen was co-opted onto the Executive Committee in 2017 and again in 2018, and was elected as Principal in 2019.

Andrew Purves - Treasurer

Andrew Purves has worked in the furniture industry since gaining a degree in History and Politics from QMC, London. In 1992 he set up his own retail business, which he continues to operate. Andrew started studying in the School in 1981, and has a particular interest in Economics. He was elected to the Executive Committee in 2008. His first book 'No debt, High growth, Low tax' was published in 2015, and is an explanation of Hong Kong’s Economic Miracle.

Richard Glover - Hon. Secretary

Richard Glover has degrees in Electronics and Medical Physics. He has practised these in industry for 20 years, and then since 1992 as an independent consultant. Richard began studying in the School in the mid 1970s and is currently active in the economics faculty. He joined the Fellowship in 1989 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2007.

William Brook

William Brook is a rights of light consultant based in London after having lived and worked abroad for several years. He began studying practical philosophy in the School in 1999 and has attended classes in Croydon, Brighton, Auckland New Zealand and London. He has also tutored practical philosophy in both New Zealand and Brighton. He joined the Fellowship in 2012 and was elected to the Executive Committee the same year.

Anthea Douglas

Anthea Douglas has held various teaching posts both in the UK and overseas during a career spanning 42 years. She is now a tutor of Philosophy and Sanskrit within the School and is a founder member of Discantus, the School’s choir. Anthea began studying in the School in 1976 and after several years of being a member of the Fellowship, was co-opted on to the Executive Committee. She was elected to the Executive Committee in 2018.

Matthew McNeill

Matt has worked in technology for over 25 years. Throughout a varied career, he has worked alongside some leading innovators and inspiring leaders at a range of companies in space technology, healthcare, government, and more recently at leading global internet players. Matt has been a student at the School, studying Philosophy and Economics for over 25 years and has been tutoring groups in the early years for over 15 years.

Jeffrey Sapiro

Jeffrey Sapiro gained a masters degree in medical law and ethics at Kings College London and followed an academic career as a principal lecturer and director of programmes at Middlesex University. He had previously trained as a nurse and practised in a variety of health care settings. He began studying in the school in the 1970s, and has a particular interest in studying the Sanskrit language. He was elected to the executive committee in 2018.

Edward Saunders

Edward Saunders is a solicitor with a varied practice covering general commercial law, litigation and insolvency. He first attended philosophy classes in the School in 1988 and started studying economics in 1997. He now teaches economics within the School. He became a member of the School’s Fellowship in 2008 and was co-opted onto the Executive. Edward was elected to the Executive Committee in 2017.

Sue Young

Sue Young trained at The London College of Fashion moving on to run her own retail business for many years. She currently works freelance from her studio in north London. Sue also volunteers locally in a NHS Hospital, working in a Cardiac Ward and helping support patients and families with Dementia. Sue has been a student in the School since 1966, joining the Fellowship in the late 1990s and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2009.