The voice of specialist further education

Freeman College

An independent specialist college offering a holistic approach to education for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.
High Riggs Farm forms part of the outdoor curriculum at Freeman College
Freeman College logo


Freeman College
88 Arundel Street
S1 2NG
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
    Referrals are taken all year round
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25


General Description

Freeman College is an independent specialist college for young adults with learning difficulties, associated behavioural issues and disabilities. As part of Ruskin Mill Trust, our students receive our unique Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE) a practical learning curriculum. We aim to teach our young people valuable, transferable life skills towards independence, allowing learners to access further education, supported living accommodation, and/or employment. We offer day and residential placements to learners aged 16-25 and accept referrals for enrolment throughout the year.

Our staff teams have a wealth of experience of working with young people with learning difficulties, such as Autism, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Global Development Delay, and Learning Disabilities, as well as behavioural, trauma related, demand avoidant, and mental health difficulties. Many of our young people also have associated medical needs such as Epilepsy.

Catchment Area



The duration of the PSTE programme is typically 3 years. Subjects include signature craft sessions focussing on traditional metalworking skills such as copper work, pewter spinning, jewellery, greenwood work, blacksmithing, and textiles alongside land based vocational opportunities at the nine-acre High Riggs Market garden where a thriving veg box scheme operates weekly. As with all Ruskin Mill Trust provisions, our market gardens and farms afford the young person the opportunity to develop their understanding of biodynamic farming, horticulture, animal husbandry, catering and nutrition, by growing healthy food in an eco-friendly and sustainable environment. Once harvested, young people responsible for co-producing meals for the college cohort and for Fusion café; our onsite social enterprise which is open to the public. Situated on the doorstep to Sheffield Hallam University campus, Fusion Café offers internal work placement and qualification opportunities within a socially and culturally thriving community. This hands-on and ‘seed-to-table’ approach to learning, unlocks the individual’s potential to learn outside of the traditional classroom environment; linking with themselves and world around them.

Bespoke Timetables are created and reviewed termly to meet the need of the individual’s aspiration, providing progression and stretch, and to monitor the progress of developing executive functions. For young people wishing to attain qualifications the college offers units across the curriculum and supports the individual to achieve a range of qualification from pre-entry level up to Level 2 and GCSE (Maths & English). Qualifications are available in smaller attainable credits, through to certificates, and up to full diplomas, through qualification bodies such as AIM, Pearson Functional Skills, and GCSE Edexcel (Maths & English only) in a variety of subjects.

Alongside core subjects, learners are encourage to attend dedicated Independent Living Skills, Travel Training, and Managing Health & Wellbeing sessions which supplement the curriculum, before moving on to Learning through work experience & social enterprise sessions.

A range of destinations are available to the young person following their time at College, from accessing further education, to voluntary or paid employment, while others make significant steps toward supported or independent living options. Freeman College and its residential provision is regulated by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC): GOOD.

Specialist Facilities

Students at Freeman College work across two sites; the main College site in Sheffield City Centre and the market garden & farm which is a 20-minute drive away in a more rural setting.

A comprehensive onsite Therapies offer includes Speech and Language Therapy (SALT), Counselling, Occupational Therapy, and Eurythmy (movement) therapy. By nature, the Ruskin Mill Trust craft and land-based curriculum affords the benefits of an embedded therapeutic offer, to maintain reduced levels of anxiety. Freeman College offers young people its unique learning style through meaningful real-life activities in a safe environment. Our safeguarding team recognises the importance of stretch and challenge, whilst keeping our young people safe.

For those learners who require residential services, Freeman College offers residential placements for either 36 or 52 weeks per year. Our holistic curriculum offers transferable learning into the residential setting at evenings and weekends and during college holidays, providing further opportunities for learning, personal and executive functioning development. A range of bespoke residential provisions are available, providing flexibility to meet the needs of the individual, from team houses (up to four students per household) to solo residency houses and flats. Our residential properties are situated away from the College sites, within local community and are fully staffed. Freeman College residential provision is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating: Good.

Other Information

Comprehensive staff training and development opportunities will guide professionals through the Ruskin Mill Trust set of core values, vision, purpose and methodology.

> Our expertise

> Our curriculum

> Our specialist services


High Riggs Farm forms part of the outdoor curriculum at Freeman College
Freeman College exterior
Spoon forging in the old cutlery factory which is now Freeman College. Students develop a number of transferable skills through a practical education method.

Prospectus Request

To request a prospectus from Freeman College please fill in the details below and click submit.

* Indicates required information