Philosophy in schools

Since 1997, the Jacobsen Trust has made available to the Royal Institute funds to promote philosophical work in schools.

Applications for the academic year 2023/24 are now closed.

The Royal Institute provides funding of up to £1,300 for courses to engage students in philosophical thinking. This programme, designed to run during the academic year 2023/24, is now open and we welcome applications from all schools.

The timetable for the programme will be yours to agree with your tutor, but normally will run for 1 hour per week for 10 weeks.  If successful, your grant will include a small budget for books to support the programme as well as access to 3 issues of THINK printed journal and online access to the publication for your school.

Our courses usually involve students aged 16-18 who have little or no experience in Philosophy and they do not need to be studying or planning to study Philosophy.  We do sometimes arrange sessions with younger children, but our hope is to target schools where there is not much funding or opportunity for extra study for students approaching external examination age.

We wish for tutors to tackle basic philosophical topics concerning the nature of knowledge, ethics, the mind, free will, and so on. The content being designed to offer opportunities to develop critical thinking and listening skills whilst encouraging students to recognise the various reasons offered in support of one position or another and to offer their own considered insights.  Typically, courses should take up topics encountered at A-level or in first year introductory classes at university but are designed to stimulate conversation for any student, irrespective of their academic subject interest or level

Teachers who have previously engaged with this programme report seeing “increasing excitement of learning, bringing new skills in critical thinking, increased metacognition, speaking and listening skills and the ability to respond respectfully to others with different views”

If you feel your students could benefit from just this sort of experience, then please complete the grant application form on the left.

At this time, we will accept ‘in principle’ applications for programmes running between September 2023 and June 2024 and if you are unable to secure a philosophy tutor, the Royal Institute will be happy to work with you to engage one.

If you have any enquiries, or want to find out more about the schools programme, please email