Ruskin Mill Educational Trust is a charitable educational Trust which operates three colleges; Ruskin Mill in Nailsworth, Glasshouse College in Stourbridge and Freeman College in Sheffield.
The colleges provide an innovative and experiential education for 16 to 25 year olds with special learning needs.
In 1984 Aonghus Gordon, the founder of RMET discovered that when young people with learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorders and developmental delay worked with craftspeople in natural environments on real-life, purposeful tasks, their personal, emotional, social skills and health improved dramatically. Since the first college was set up at Ruskin Mill, hundreds of students have experienced the unique learning opportunities at one of three colleges.
The RMET experience ensures that students follow an individualised programme of learning, both whilst at college as well as a life skills curriculum during evenings and week ends. Therapeutic activities and a diet rich in organic whole foods complement educational programmes, providing a unique model of care and development.
Students’ progression throughout their college placement is carefully monitored and adjusted to ensure that learning opportunities are maximised. Many students arrive at college with low self esteem and very little expectation of leading a more fulfilling life. Students leave college with practical qualifications, a more positive self image, supported by invaluable skills for living and work. Around 30% progress to higher or continuing education and 30% find jobs or become volunteer workers immediately on leaving college. Whilst some return to their families, many are able to live independently.
The Trust continues to develop the scope of the curriculum, continually embedding essential literacy, numeracy and communication skills and ensuring that curriculum development is symbiotic with cultural and economic regeneration in the locality of each college. Responsiveness to learners and to employers are key priorities for the Trust’s future, whilst maintaining an innovative, pioneering focus to keep the learning and development experience at the leading edge of special education is a key feature of the Trust’s mission.
All the colleges are set within commercial craft and arts centres where a steady stream of members of the public visit the craft workshops and attend the concerts, lectures and exhibitions that regularly take place.
back to top