Glasshouse College (Including Argent College)

An independent specialist college offering a holistic approach to education for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.
Glasshouse College courtyard
The logo of Glasshouse College (Including Argent College) S41 status


Glasshouse College (Including Argent College)
Wollaston Road
  • 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
  • Other Locations:
    Argent College, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.



General Description

Glasshouse College (including Argent College) is an independent specialist college for young adults with learning difficulties and behavioural issues. As part of Ruskin Mill Trust, our students receive our unique Practical Skills Therapeutic Education - a craft and land-based curriculum. We aim to teach our young people valuable, transferable life skills and independence, which allows them to access further education, supported living accommodation, and/or work.

Our learners are predominantly aged 16-25. 

Our staff body has a wealth of experience of working with young people with learning difficulties, such as autism, ASD, ADHD, ODD, Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as behavioural and mental health issues.

Catchment Area

Nationwide and from International students


We provide a craft and land-based curriculum, comprising of:

Hot glass
Glass engraving
Bronze Casting
Green Woodwork

Specialist Facilities

Glasshouse College is set within a renovated former glass factory including an arts complex, state of the art workshops, recreation areas and cafes, providing students with a range of opportunities to work towards educational and vocational outcomes. Nearby Vale Head Farm allows students to learn the fundamentals of biodynamic (organic) ecology, growing fruit and vegetables for the college canteen as well as raising livestock and managing the woodland.

Glasshouse College also operates Argent College based in Birmingham's vibrant Jewellery Quarter. The curriculum at Argent College honours the industrial heritage of its location, providing exceptional learning opportunites in Jewellery, Leatherwork, Candlemaking, Textiles, Horticulture, Music and Drama. In addition, Argent College has an urban rooftop microfarm, a Heritage Hub and the Hive Organic Cafe and Bakery which operates as a Social Enterprise, providing outstanding work experience opportunities for students.

We welcome students for both day and residential placements (36 or 52 weeks). Alongside the Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE), we also offer students Functional Skills, Speech and Language, and other therapies such as Art, Massage and Counselling. They can also pass units which equate to a BTEC qualification. When ready, students are also able to access work experience opportunities related to their destination goals, as outlined in their Education, Health and Care plans.

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

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • Asperger syndrome
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Severe autism spectrum disorder
    • Autism spectrum disorder with associated challenging behaviour
    • Behavioural difficulties
    • Emotional difficulties
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have been affected by abuse or personal trauma
    • Mental health needs
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • Severe learning difficulties
    • Epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
    • Multi-sensory impairment
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have specific learning difficulties
    • Communication difficulties
    • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • Opportunities to follow vocational courses
    • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
    • A specialised land-based curriculum
    • A hospitality and catering curriculum
    • A performing arts curriculum
    • A personal development programme
    • A social skills programme
    • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and how to form relationships
    • Opportunities for students to participate in community activities and to learn about citizenship
    • Opportunities to prepare for further training after college
    • Opportunities to explore a range of living options after college
    • Opportunities to attend local further education colleges with support
    • Opportunities to prepare for work after college
    • Opportunities to experience real work situations
    • A programme to help students to look after themselves more independently
    • Opportunities for work experience
    • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
    • Opportunities to develop strategies to promote appropriate behaviour
    • Opportunities to experiment with sound, touch, smell and sight in order to aid learning
    • A transition programme into independent living
    • A transition programme into supported or open employment
    • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
  • > Our specialist services

    • In-house speech and language therapy
    • A range of therapeutic services
    • In-house psychology services
    • Sessions to improve posture and mobility
    • Specialist training to enable independent travel
    • Guidance and counselling services
    • Help with finding suitable long term provision
    • Waking night residential staff
    • Registered with the Care Quality Commission / Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
    • Residential provision linked to the academic year
    • Residential provision extending beyond the academic year

Prospectus Request

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The S41 symbol next to most of the colleges in the directory means that they are on the Secretary of State’s Approved List.

This list, developed as part of the Children and Families Act 2014, means that some parts of the Act apply to these independent institutions. This includes specialist colleges.