The School of Economic Science, an educational charity (registered charity numbers 313115 and SC 039950), was founded in London in 1937 by Leon MacLaren. The establishment of the School occurred partly in response to the great economic depression in the early 1930s, which had a devastating effect on the economic and social welfare of many.
As a result, the central subject of the early studies in the School was economic science (as it was then called) and how economic justice might be achieved through equitable distribution of wealth and fair taxation. However, as these studies continued they led to fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of human society, the role of human beings, and the nature of creation. Philosophy soon became the central area of study within the School, and in the 1950s philosophy courses were offered to the public for the first time.