About Us History

Founded in London during the 1930’s to explore economics

The School of Economic Science was founded in London in 1937 to promote the study of the natural laws governing human society and all related studies. At that time the central subject was economics, or as it was then known, economic science. The establishment of the School followed closely upon, and arose as a response to the great economic depression of the early 1930s, which had a devastating effect on the economic and social welfare of thousands of people. Thus the main issue underlying the early studies was how economic justice might be achieved through a sound and fair system of taxation and equitable distribution of wealth.

Fundamental questions led naturally to the study of philosophy

As studies continued, they led to fundamental questions about the origin of the creation, the role of human beings, the nature of human society and the real essence of a human being. The pursuit of these questions led naturally to the study of philosophy. In the early 1950s philosophy courses were first offered and this soon became the main subject. Philosophy remains the central subject in the School and forms the essential reference for all other studies. Economics courses based on the original objectives and now illuminated by the study of philosophy also continue on a regular basis.

Guidance from an ancient philosophical and spiritual tradition

In 1961 the founder and head of the School, Leon MacLaren, made contact with one of the leading figures of an ancient philosophical and spiritual tradition in India, Shri Shantananda Saraswati, who was the Shankaracharya of the northern seat of that tradition. The first meeting in 1965 opened up a very significant new dimension to the School's studies and practices. Guidance was received from the Shankaracharya on the study of the ancient philosophical and scriptural writings of India which form the basis of the philosophy called Advaita Vedanta, and on the practice of meditation. The philosophy of Advaita Vedanta is that behind all the apparent differences there is an underlying unity and that it is in the understanding and experience of this unity that Man finds fulfillment and happiness. Advaita Vedanta is now the foundation of the philosophical teaching presented by the School.

Origins of the School in Ireland

Dublin Head OfficeThe origins of the school in Ireland go back to a small group of people who came together during the late 1960’s sharing a common interest in the fundamental questions of human existence and creation. The study of the great philosophers and ancient teachings naturally followed. Contact was made with the School of Economic Science in London which was engaged in similar studies and this led to an affiliated School in Ireland being established.


During the 1970s various other study groups were established, covering such areas as calligraphy, music, Plato, Sanskrit and Vedic mathematics.

Over the years numerous branches of the School based on the same principles and philosophical teaching have been established around both Ireland and the world. Around the world a number of the branches have helped to found new schools for children, with the object of restoring and revitalising the best educational traditions coupled with the philosophical principles taught by the School.

Current Leadership

The content and direction of the studies and practices in the School worldwide are now overseen by Donald Lambie, who took over the leadership when Leon MacLaren died in 1994. David Horan is the head of the School in Ireland.

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« Overview

Inspired by the ancient concept of Advaita

« Ongoing Study

Meditation, voluntary service, residential events and senior school

« History

Founded in London in 1937

« Principles & Practices

Working principles and practices of the school

« The Organisation

Structure and management of the school

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