Executive Team

Aonghus Gordon OBE (Founder and Chief Executive)

Aonghus is the Founder and Executive Chair of Ruskin Mill Trust.  Aonghus started RMT is 1983 and has worked with colleagues, growing teams and leadership to enable the development and growth of the Trust from one centre to twelve centres across England, Scotland and Wales, as well as several international collaborations. He is passionate about the need for people to break out of dependency and marginalisation, believing that everyone has the potential to shape their own future. 

Aonghus has pioneered its unique method of Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE), inspired by Rudolf Steiner, John Ruskin and William Morris’s ideas about social renewal, healthy human development and the importance of art, crafts and land work. Thousands of young people have benefited from this integrative education method

Find out more about Aonghus Gordon

Aonghus Gordon

Helen Kippax (Chair and lead for Safeguarding and Health and Safety)

Helen has a diverse background in fine arts, social care and educational development including helping to establish a Steiner School in Sheffield. Helen undertook an HNC in Fine Arts as a mature student and set up and ran her own gallery in Sheffield. Helen joined Ruskin Mill Trust in 2004 and was tasked with setting up the Trust’s third centre, Freeman College in Sheffield. Helen was Principal of Freeman College until 2012 when she became a Trustee of Ruskin Mill Trust and Senior Mentor. Helen has gained an MSc in Practical Skills Therapeutic Education from the University West of England and continues to support and research the method of PSTE as a Trustee for Ruskin Mill Trust. Helen provides mentorship to senior leaders across the Ruskin Mill Trust group.

Helen Kippax

Constantin Court

Constantin joined Ruskin Mill Trust in 2007. Constantin has a vast experience in social and educational establishments, working across different regulative frameworks in organisations who apply the insights of Rudolf Steiner in a contemporary way. Constantin has worked with children and adults in Germany, Palestine, Israel, Switzerland and Egypt before coming to the UK.

He was instrumental in developing Ruskin Mill Trust’s first school, Brantwood Special School and is now Director of Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE) Pedagogy and a member of the Executive Team Ruskin Mill Trust with responsibility for quality assuring Practical Skills Therapeutic Education and overseeing the Trust’s staff development and training programme, Hiram Education and Research Team (HEaRT).

Constantin Court

Tara Gratton (Director of Schools and Rise)

Tara started her career in education in 1992 as a teacher in a primary school. In 2004, Tara took up her first Head Teacher role and over the following years has worked with a range of schools and education federations, as a head and executive head, to improve their outcomes and quality. Tara has now developed a proven track record of leading outstanding schools, and for supporting and transforming schools that are struggling.

Tara has been a safeguarding lead, member of a local safeguarding board, governor and board member for a range of other educational establishments and has a strong understanding of governance and compliance. Tara is the Trust’s Regional Director for the centres in the south, and is bring her skills and extensive experience to the Sunfield Board.

Tara Gratton

Oliver Cheney (Director of Colleges and Rise)

Oliver has over 20 years experience of working with young people with Autism, ADHD, learning disabilities and mental health issues. Oliver joined Ruskin Mill Trust in 2001 and over his time at the Trust has held a range of roles. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding the work of the Trust, in particular his in-depth understanding of the needs of the individuals the Trust works with.

Oliver Cheney

Elisabeth Johnson (Executive Operations Manager)

Elisabeth has worked for Ruskin Mill Trust for over 25 years, in a variety of roles. She first started at the Trust as a support worker and tutor and has progressed through a range of administration, admissions and senior leadership roles.

Elisabeth has been involved in supporting several of the Trust’s new initiatives over the years and has worked at several of the Trust’s sites. Elisabeth holds a MSc in Sustainable Systems, as well as a MSc in Practical Skills Therapeutic Education. In her current role as Executive Operations Manager, Elisabeth works closely with the Executive Team, is leading on the development of the Civil Service, and is company secretary for the 9 subsidiaries of Ruskin Mill Trust.

Elisabeth Johnson