For over 30 years, Ruskin Mill Trust has provided Specialist Independent Education and Social care to children and adults with complex needs including a range of learning difficulties, autistic spectrum conditions and disabilities. Placements are available at our Schools, Colleges, Gateway to independence, and Rise (Adult Social Care) programmes throughout England, Scotland and Wales on a day or residential basis. Applications and referrals are welcomed all year round.

In 1984 Aonghus Gordon discovered that when such students work with craftspeople in natural environments on real-life, purposeful tasks, their personal, emotional and social skills, behaviour and health improve dramatically. The result? A pioneering approach to inclusive learning. This unique, holistic, and student-centred method of working with neurodiverse individuals aims to re-imagine their potential through Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE).

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Every site nationwide utilises the heritage of the area to instil a sense of belonging as well as looking to industry and craft to develop the learners practical skills. Centred on a former Royal Doulton crystal glass factory, Glasshouse opened in Stourbridge in the West Midlands, in the first year of the Millennium. Based in a converted crystal glass factory in the glass making district of Stourbridge, the College is situated on the edge of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire countryside yet within easy reach of Birmingham’s cultural centre.

The industrial heritage of the Black Country is being actively promoted and Glasshouse College, working in collaboration with the Ruskin Glass Centre, has established a range of high quality craft workshops, a shop and cafe. Each student follows the three-year Ruskin Mill Orientation Course, a bespoke vocational timetable designed around his or her particular needs, talents and aspirations. For third years, this will probably incorporate work experience and/or study at local mainstream colleges, in preparation for life after college.

Residential provision is likewise tailored to individual needs and abilities, but typically evolves from a family-based model in the first year to more independent arrangements in the third. Both educational and residential provision are supported by a wide range of specialists, from GPs and psychotherapists to gardeners and technicians.

If you are interested in Glasshouse College and would like to visit on one of our open days you can find out more here

Open day dates are to follow:

To book a place, or for more information, please email Laura Butler at

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