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Freeman College - day and residential education and care in Sheffield and South Yorkshire for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEN)

Since 2005, we've been providing students (16 - 25) who have a range of complex learning, mental health and behavioural needs, with a chance to gain qualifications and valuable experience that will prepare them for their future.

We believe education and care is a journey not a race.

Our curriculum combines practical skills with therapeutic education. Here in the Steel City, we are supporting students' emotional and learning needs whilst they study areas that are of interest and benefit to them in later life. Where possible, students are taught in real-life work and living situations that reflect the challenges they will face beyond college, and our transition programme sets realistic targets and outcomes that support them to move into the wider community.

We run a timetable for 36 - 52 weeks a year. Each student has an individualised study programme, and we accept applications throughout the year.

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To get in touch to find out how we can support your needs call 0114 252 5953 and ask for Assessment and Admissions, or email us here:

You can also download:

• Our current Prospectus here

• Our Application form and Admissions policy here


Qualifications through a personalised curriculum and holistic approach

Our college is situated in the heart of Sheffield, and has sites in the leafy suburb of Nether Edge and at our rural horticultural centre in Stannington. Each location provides a variety of different activities for students to suit their needs. Every student is supported by their Student Journey Manager and has a personalised and flexible curriculum that will include working towards qualifications, including Edexcel and NOCN where appropriate, to suit their level and need.

Based on the Individual Student Journey Plan, Freeman College also offers a series of accredited and tracks non-accredited learning, using the RARPA framework.


Skills for life

As well as gaining qualifications, students will learn essential skills necessary for life while participating in traditional cutlery making, jewellery, pewter work, horticulture, crafts, textiles, art, music and drama (and many more). Students also benefit from embedded literacy, numeracy and IT provision within each subject area. High emphasis is placed on preparing students for life after College, and travel training is therefore a top priority for students at Freeman. We give students the best chance to progress on to further education, employment, voluntary work and to a range of supported and independent living arrangements.

Freeman College provides a range of external opportunities to our students to help this progression. Work experience placements are set up on an individual basis for our students, to suit their interests and needs. We also offer work experience in our own Fusion Organic Café, which is open to the public. Day students are able to access areas within their own community through the links Freeman College provides.


Health and social care

As well as providing education for  students, we have a number of in-house therapies including, speech and language therapy, massage, movement therapy and counselling. We have our own ‎Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist available for students. This provision is embedded into the student's weekly programme depending upon their need. We operate a holistic approach to education health and care.

Residential placements are provided for students for 36 or 52 weeks a year. Like our day provision, we create individualised placements to suit the studentʼs needs. The students living with us residentially have the advantage of a 24 hour curriculum that we operate to teach independent living skills in the home. Students living residentially with us receive specialist support with regards to care.


Our specialist educational and therapeutic expertise covers the following areas:

• Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and Asperger’s syndrome
• ASD with associated challenging behaviour
• Supporting students with behavioural difficulties
• Severe or associated mental health needs
• Varying levels of learning difficulties and disabilities
• Specialised speech and language therapy
• Health care and therapeutic services
• Specialist training to enable independent travel and living
• Residential provision extended beyond the academic year
• A range of vocational courses with opportunities for accreditation
• Opportunities to work towards qualifications - Edexcel, NOCN and non-accredited
• Opportunities to experience real work situations
• Highly qualified and trained safeguarding team


Freeman College is part of Ruskin Mill Trust

Ruskin Mill Trust is a leading independent provider of specialist care and education for young people and adults with learning and complex co-morbid needs including autism / ASD, Asperger syndrome, behavioural, social and emotional difficulties, mental health problems, self-harm, epilepsy, dyspraxia and other special educational needs (SEN).

We welcome applications from throughout the UK.

Currently working with a large number of local authorities, the Trust has been providing specialist Education, Health & Care for young people for over 25 years. Our pioneering method of ‘Practical Skills Therapeutic Education’ is recognised internationally and has helped transform the lives of hundreds of young people.



Ofsted Rating and Reports

To view our latest Education report please click here.


Ruskin Mill Trust has worked with the following Local Authorities -
each links to their respective Special Educational Needs (SEN) section:

Barnet Council Haringey Council Reading Borough Council
Barnsley Council Hertfordshire County Council Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Bath and NE Somerset Council Hounslow Council Salford City Council
Birmingham City Council Kent County Council Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Bracknell Forest Council Kingston-Upon-Thames Borough Council Sheffield City Council
Bristol City Council Lambeth Council Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Bromley Council Leeds City Council Somerset County Council
Buckinghamshire County Council Leicester City Council South Gloucestershire Council
Calderdale Council Leicestershire County Council St Helens Council
Cambridgeshire County Council Lewisham Council Staffordshire County Council
Cardiff Council Lincolnshire County Council Suffolk County Council
Central Bedfordshire Council London Borough of Hillingdon Surrey County Council
Cheshire West & Chester London Borough of Redbridge Swindon Borough Counci
Cornwall Council London Borough of Richmond Telford & Wrekin Council
Derby City Council Luton Borough Council Torbay Council
Derbyshire County Council Medway Council Tower Hamlets Council
Devon County Council Norfolk County Council Trafford Council
Doncaster Council North Lincolnshire Council Walsall Council
Dorset County Council North Somerset Council Warwickshire County Council
Dudley Council Northamptonshire County Council West Sussex County Council
Ealing Council Northumberland County Council Wiltshire Council
East Sussex County Council Oxfordshire County Council Wokingham Borough Council
Essex County Council Pembrokeshire County Council Wolverhampton City Council
Gloucestershire County Council Peterborough City Council Worcestershire County Council
Greenwich Council Powys  County Council  
Hampshire County Council    



The Trust


Student Admissions