Merimbula Public School

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Externally Funded Allied Health Service Support In Schools

Externally Funded Allied Health Service Support In Schools:

Externally funded health, disability and wellbeing service providers may seek to provide their services to students at the school during school hours. Parents/Caregivers may also request for NDIS/Allied Health Service providers to work with their child at school, during school hours.

Some children and young people with disability may benefit from allied health and specialist therapies. Examples include physiotherapy, psychology, speech pathology and occupational therapy. Social and emotional support may also be provided. In most cases, these therapies can be delivered at home or in a therapist’s office. Some therapies may be best delivered in school during school time.

The NSW Department of Education and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) recommend that therapy services funded through a child’s NDIS support plan are best delivered outside of school time. This allows the school to focus on teaching the child with additional needs, and all other students, and ensures every child does not miss out on important learning time.

Schools work with both parents and allied health providers to meet the needs of students and support their learning and development. This may include sharing information about the student and what activities might work best to support them. In some cases, where it is suitable, this may mean working directly with the provider in the classroom. School principals are responsible for deciding if, when and how therapy services are delivered in the school.

The principal is responsible for making decisions that ensure that the school is able to run to benefit all students, and without disrupting learning. The principal will manage any services that come into the school in a way that supports children to continue to take part in classes and school activities.

As previously shared, access to the school by an externally funded provider is at the discretion of the principal. If you would like for your child to receive externally funded allied health professional support in 2024, please ensure that you:

1. Firstly, make your request to the principal in writing so that there is a record of your request. The principal will consider your request. The school has developed a proforma for parents/caregivers to complete when requesting external support be considered. The application proforma 'Externally Funded Service Providers – Permission To Share' is available below: 

2. If agreed, providers need to meet all legal and policy requirements and enter into an agreement with the school. This includes the provider providing evidence of: Having a current Working With Children Check; Having Public Liability Insurance of at least $20M; Completing the Department’s annual Code of Conduct and Child Protection Training, as well as, Child Protection Awareness (Induction) Training; and other mandatory documentation and training as required. A fee may also be incurred for administration and processing of documentation;

3. Service provider staff undergo an induction at the school prior to commencing services.

With an increasing amount of external service providers requesting access to our school to provide services on site, and during school hours, our school has timetabled supervision support times for these provisions to occur in 2024. This is to support students having access to the limited services in the area, if they cannot be provided out of school hours, and as to not interrupt classroom lessons and learning time for other students in the class.