Ruskin Mill Trust is an educational charity that operates in England, Scotland and Wales, offering exciting outdoor learning environments, utilising practical land and craft activities to support the development of work and life skills in young people with autism and other learning difficulties.

Ruskin Mill Trust’s method of Practical Skills Therapeutic Education combines the insights from Rudolf Steiner’s educational inspiration and understanding of human phasic development, and is inspired by the work of John Ruskin and William Morris. Working with hand, head, heart and place, through practical activities, performing arts, therapies, culture and social enterprise, Ruskin Mill Trust helps individuals to re-imagine their potential.

  • Holistic approach where the method of Practical Skills Therapeutic Education enables individual planning for learners

  • Investment in continuous research and improvement of methodology and practice, and a strong research and training culture

  • Rich and varied integrated curriculum of land, craft, arts, living skills, therapies and social enterprise

Key facts

  • Four schools working with children aged 6-19

  • Five colleges who work with young adults aged 16 – 25

  • Three adult social care provisions working with adults aged 16 and above

  • Day, residential and respite placements available

  • Applications accepted year round

  • Residential placements are in small scale homes in the community and on Trust sites

  • Research Centres

Our Vision

That each individual has the potential to shape their own future through experiencing meaningful relationships with universe, earth and people.

Our Values

  • We value inclusive learning and living activities that integrate practical activity, thinking and emotions.

  • We value mutual respect and we strive to understand all people’s differences and uniqueness.

  • We value the capacity for re-imagination present in all people, towards positive change and development.

  • We value openness, goodwill, tolerance and treating people with dignity and respect. 

Our Purpose

We provide students with holistic learning by role modelling positive relationships in the fields of arts, crafts, commerce, agriculture, nutrition, living skills and the environment.

By immersing students in the productive aspect of our curriculum, they learn to care for their own wellbeing and development, and overcome their barriers to learning. Students learn to recognise their capabilities and positively contribute to society which is continuously celebrated through cultural events and arts festivals for staff, students and the wider community.

This approach is embedded within a research training culture up to PhD and Master’s degree level, and delivered through our purpose-built training facility, the Field Centre.

We also:

  • Operate social enterprise and commercial activities that involve students, staff and the community.

  • Provide education training and research opportunities up to Master’s degree level through the Field Centre for staff and the wider community.

  • Provide cultural events and festivals for students, staff and community.

Our Method is Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE)
PSTE stands behind the students’ curriculum and the professional development of our staff.

Why do we use PSTE?
To enable each learner to develop their own capacity for self-generated conscious action.

How do we do this?
By helping learners to find their own pathway through Ruskin Mill Trust’s Applied Contemporary Apprenticeship Learning.

What is involved?
Every learner’s pathway is informed by Ruskin Mill Trust’s Seven Fields of Practice.

Our Charitable Objects

  • To advance the education of young people with learning difficulties and/or behavioural problems or special educational needs through training in the areas of arts, crafts, agriculture and environmental sciences, with particular reference being given to the indications and insights of Rudolf Steiner in these areas.

  • To promote research into the practice and development in these areas of education provided that all research findings will be widely disseminated.

  • The promotion of Rudolf Steiner educational establishments.

Our Locations

Map of mainland UK showing locations of Ruskin Mill Trust provisions

Place, Craft and Neurodiversity – Re-imagining Potential through Education at Ruskin Mill

A new book written by Aonghus Gordon OBE and Laurence Cox, with a foreword by Stefan Geider MD.

Find out more
Pupils and tutors collecting berries at Eyam Outdoor Classroom
Picking berries at Eyam Edge Farm, part of the seed-to-table approach