Ruskin Mill College

An independent specialist college educating young people with complex behaviour and learning difficulties including autism
The logo of Ruskin Mill College S41 status


Ruskin Mill College
The Fisheries
Horsley Mill
  • Course Length:
    36 to 52 weeks per year
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Course Dates:
    September to July or year-round
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 - 25 years



General Description

Ruskin Mill College offers over 100 places to young people with complex learning and behavioural difficulties, mental health issues and autistic spectrum disorders including Asperger’s syndrome whose needs cannot be met elsewhere. Ruskin Mill College takes referrals throughout the year.


Our Integrated Learning for Living and Work course offers a rich and varied curriculum with opportunities to develop communication, social and living skills through an individualised learning and development programme. Activities include practical land-based and traditional craft activities, animal husbandry, fish farming, woodland management, horticulture, catering, hospitality, music, art and drama with maths and English embedded into sessions.

Specialist Facilities

Set in 140 acres including a biodynamic farm, woodlands and a fishery, the college offers young people its unique Practical Skills Therapeutic Education, learning through meaningful real life activities and accredited courses.

The college provides a range of full nutritional, therapeutic and medical support. 

Our residential Shared Lives Provision (SLP) offers support, care and accommodation. People live in ordinary homes with shared lives carers in the community who have been trained and approved by Ruskin Mill Residential. The carers are supported and monitored by a shared lives co-ordinator/residential manager. Living with a carer and their family enables people to learn new skills and become as independent as possible while sharing in ordinary family life. Shared lives services are registered and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Transition and Continuity of Progression

The aim of the Pathways Team is to plan successful outcomes for students through a seamless process from admissions to transition with work experience opportunities and continue to provide support and follow-up for students for six months beyond their leaving college to help the student sustain their chosen destination. During this process the Pathways Team members will be collaborating with students, local providers, parents and local authority.

  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • Autism spectrum disorder with associated challenging behaviour
    • Severe autism spectrum disorder
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have been affected by abuse or personal trauma
    • Behavioural difficulties
    • Emotional difficulties
    • Severe learning difficulties
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • Asperger syndrome
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
    • A specialised land-based curriculum
    • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and how to form relationships
    • A programme to help students to look after themselves more independently
    • A transition programme into supported or open employment
    • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
    • Opportunities to develop strategies to promote appropriate behaviour
    • Opportunities for students to participate in community activities and to learn about citizenship
  • > Our specialist services

    • In-house speech and language therapy
    • A range of therapeutic services
    • In-house psychology services
    • Specialist training to enable independent travel
    • In-house medical provision
    • Specialist staff to meet personal care requirements
    • Registered with the Care Quality Commission / Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
    • 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.