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Training Team

Our trainers are all experienced classroom practitioners, along with Steve, Peter and Emma they mentor trainee philosophers through our accreditation programme, and support teachers in classroom practice.

David Birch 

David studied philosophy to postgraduate level at St Andrews before joining the Philosophy Foundation in 2011. In addition to his work with the charity, he teaches A-level RS and Philosophy at an independent college in south London.

David’s articles on teaching philosophy in schools have appeared in the Guardian Teacher Network, TES and Philosophy Now. He is the author of Provocations: Philosophy for Secondary School, Thiking Beans and has a new book coming out in 2021.

Tim Beardmore-Gray

Tim joined us in 2016 whilst he was completing his Master of Philosophical Studies at King's College London. He has a First Class MA in Philosophy from Edinburgh University (2012). Tim works at a number of primary schools in South East London as well as teaching an over-50s philosophy class at the Second Half Centre, and facilitates philosophy with the educational charity GROW.

Steven Campbell Harris

Steven has a background in Philosophy and Theology, graduating with a joint honours degree in the subjects (MA Philosophy and Theology, First Class Honours) in 2012. In the following year he worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language and later as an editorial researcher and philosophy events producer for the HowTheLightGetsIn philosophy festival. Having acquired a taste for teaching, and seen how philosophy can be taken out of the academy and put into people's lives, in late 2013 Steven decided to pursue the intersection of the two.

He began work as a tutor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and undertook training to become a philosophy specialist with the Philosophy Foundation. Since then he has facilitated hundreds of enquiries for children from years 1 to 8 and tutored students of all abilities from primary to undergraduate level. His main focus in both his teaching and tutoring work is to develop in his students a reasoned engagement with the world and with themselves. In late 2015 he took on additional responsibilities as a teacher trainer for the Foundation, helping with INSET days as well as observing and training other philosophy specialist teachers.

Miriam Cohen Christofidis

Miriam began teaching philosophy to graduates and undergraduates from 1994 and has taught at UCL, Heythrop and Oxford. She has been teaching A Level philosophy at Camden Girls School for the last 2 years. Miriam has a BA and an MPhil from UCL, and her main interest is in political philosophy and Plato. Miriam has been working with The Philosophy Foundation since 2007 and has worked with children from nursery age up to KS5.

Donal Coonan

Donal completed his degree in 2004 and then spent a year teaching English to children as young as two years old in Japan. Since then, he has been working as a private tutor for children in London. He is also a theatre practitioner, having trained at the prestigious L'Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris, and is particularly interested in the capacity of play to engage children with their learning. He became accredited in November 2012 and the skills he picked up doing this has assisted tremendously with his tutoring. He now also works as a philosophy facilitator and is excited about the huge potential of philosophy to assist the thinking skills of children from all backgrounds.

Andrew Day 

Andrew has a background in language teaching and management, where he developed an interest in professional development and training.  He has a degree in Philosophy and Social Anthropology which sparked an interest in the part language plays in the development of thinking.  Having also worked in screenwriting and the theatre, he enjoys the role that stories have in his work for The Philosophy Foundation.

 He joined the organisation at the beginning of 2009 and quickly became committed to advancing its aims. Andrew is the author of The Numberverse and co-author of Thoughtings.

Grace Lockrobin 

Grace is a freelance philosophy teacher and consultant working in schools and communities. She established Thinking Space in 2008 believing that philosophical dialogue and enquiry can help people think and communicate their thinking more clearly. Since then Thinking Space have delivered creative projects across the UK in collaboration with The Wellcome Trust, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Cape UK. She is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds were she lectures 'Leeds Philosophy Exchange' a programme she set up that places philosophy students in local schools. She also teaches philosophy and applied ethics. She is currently studying for a Doctorate in Philosophy of Education at the Institute of Education UCL on the puzzle of how we teach people to be good.

Daniela Machado

Has worked with us for a number of years after initially training with us at Edinburgh University. She has worked as a teacher in schools, and is a member of Open Scotland, an organisation trying to connect and encourage teachers doing philosophy in schools across Scotland.

Marsali Gray

Marsali completed her BA in philosophy at King's College London and after working in the city for a number of years found The Philosophy Foundation and became an accredited specialist with us. She has been working in primary and secondary schools with us since then as well as helping to develop our training work in business.

Henrik Sherling

Henrik joined The Philosophy Foundation after he completed outreach with us at King's College London. He has an MSci student in Physics and Philosophy at KCL, and he works as a tutor (math, physics, and philosophy) on the side.

Andy West

He has worked in southeast London, SEN schools, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Muslim schools and prison education. He writes for the Guardian, Open Democracy and TES. He's a contributor to the award-winning book The Philosophy Shop and his work with children with special educational needs features in the April 2015 edition of Special Children.

Andy has also worked as a conflict mediator, a befriender for the National Autistic Society and an English teacher. Andy teaches philosophy in prisons and has a book coming out in 2022 about his work in prisons.

Rob Torrington

Joined TPF in 2007 as part of their first training cohort, helped grow the charity as their Training and Assessment Director and am currently a Senior Consultant. Trained as a teacher in 2012, working with Reception to post-16 and all ages between. Specialised in A-Level Philosophy, Religious Studies and the Extended Project Qualification since 2014. Now based on the Isle of Wight and coordinator of the Philosophy Foundation's South Coast Hub Manager, Senior Consultant and Trainer.