Review of the evidence of outcomes and impact of Ruskin Mill Trust’s Practical Skills and Therapeutic Educational Programme
Ruskin Mill Trust
Ruskin Mill Trust, Nottingham Trent University and CCRI, University of Gloucestershire
April 2020 - February 2021
CAWR Research Theme
Sustainable Development Goals
Ruskin Mill Trust (RMT) provides specialist independent education for children and adults with complex needs. The unique three-stage process of their Practical Skills and Therapeutic Education (PSTE) helps learners overcome barriers to learning, become skilled and contribute to community. Through engaging with crafts and land-based activities, the learner is immersed in a therapeutic process, learning not only academic and functional skills, but also gaining transferable work skills and independent living skills. Most importantly, they learn to value themselves and others.
This project aims to review the way RMT evidence the effectiveness of their PSTE programme and the impact on those involved. The project will be undertaken in two phases; initially we will review the data that is currently held by RMT and arrange participatory workshops with learners, carers and RMT staff to explore, in a broader sense, the outcomes achieved. In the second phase (subject to agreement), we will undertake a comprehensive review of the data sets highlighted as contributing most to evidencing the effectiveness of the programme and make recommendations on data that could be collected in future, on improvements in the data capturing processes and the promotion of the evidence of outcomes and impact to all stakeholders.
The objectives of the study are:
- To undertake an initial scoping exercise to review the data held by RMT, considering both the qualitative and quantitative data held in various forms and formats and at different locations.
- To identify the strengths, the weaknesses and the standard of the various data sets and of the current data capturing and holding process.
- To undertake workshop(s) with learners, carers and RMT staff to develop the ‘theory of change’ and explore the short-, medium- and long-term outcomes of the PSTE programme.
- To identify the existing data that contribute most to evidencing the effectiveness of the programme and any gaps in the data and the data capturing processes.
- To identify and advise on the methodology for the second phase of the study
- To undertake a comprehensive review of the data sets highlighted in Phase 1.
- To review how RMT use the existing data to evidence the effectiveness of their PSTE and the impact of student time spent with RMT to outside stakeholders and to benchmark what they do with other relevant service providers.
- To identify and make recommendations on data that could be collected in the future and on improvements that could be made for the data capturing/holding processes, and on the dissemination and promotion of the evidence of outcomes and impact to all stakeholders.
- To prepare and present a final report for the study
The external overview of the evidence of the effectiveness of the Ruskin Mill Trust PSTE programme and the impact on those involved will lend added rigour to the Trust’s own evaluation process and provide an opportunity to benchmark their activities and achievements with other relevant service providers. The improved understanding of the outcomes and impacts of the programme, of the effectiveness of the data capturing processes used and of the conclusions drawn will help the Trusts to better communicate their achievements with external stakeholders, as well as, help the Trusts internally to further improve and develop their provision.