SAPERE was founded in 1992 after interest roused by the BBC documentary ‘Socrates for 6 year olds’. The documentary showed Philosophy for Children (P4C) at work in schools in the USA where the concept was originated in the late 1960’s by Professor Matthew Lipman.
Inspired by the film, Roger Sutcliffe (founder, previous Trustee and President of SAPERE) and colleagues trained in the USA with Matthew Lipman. On this basis SAPERE has continued to have official approval from the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) founded by Matthew Lipman, and the international endorsement of the International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC).
SAPERE was registered as a charity in 1994, and until 2003 was entirely run on a voluntary basis with no paid employees or office base. From 2004 to 2009 SAPERE had an office at Oxford Brookes University where its courses were accredited at Masters Level. In May 2009 SAPERE moved to independent offices in central Oxford, and then in February 2012 to offices in Culham near Abingdon. This is where we are now based although many Trustees and some staff work elsewhere in the country. As of September 2012 SAPERE has over 60 qualified P4C Trainers, nearly 700 individual members, 7 staff, 9 trustees and oversees the training of about 2500 teachers and facilitators in P4C concepts and techniques each year.