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Therapy at School

Guidelines for the Provision of Therapy Services in School

RATIONALE

Mainsbridge School believes in working collaboratively with community partners to meet the needs of its students.  This is achieved through recognition of the importance of strong and positive connections with outside agencies, families and community members. This information serves as a guideline for school staff, parents and carers and service providers working with students in the provision of therapy services at Mainsbridge School.

THERAPY SERVICES IN THE SCHOOL SETTING

The staff at Mainsbridge School are responsible for the development of students' educational growth through learning programs and goal setting.  Collaborative processes are also vital to student's development and wellbeing and we value the input of visiting therapists.  The delivery of therapy services in the school is appropriate when there is a clear link between the therapy service and the enhancement of the student's educational experience and outcomes.  Positive relationships between Mainsbridge School staff and therapy service providers are vital in the effective provision of these services in the school.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF SCHOOLS AND THERAPY ORGANISATIONS

The role of school in relations to therapy services is to liaise with families to facilitate any reasonable request for such a service during school hours which will lead to improved educational outcomes.

The role of the therapist when working in schools is to contribute to positive educational outcomes for students in a planned, collaborative and cohesive manner.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  • Student safety, wellbeing and educational development is the priority for any therapy service provided in the school setting.
  • Students are best serves when both school staff and visiting therapists have a clear understanding of the specific purpose for each classroom visit.
  • Schools are ultimately responsible for student educational outcomes. The decision as to whether a therapy service is to operate within the school is entirely at the discretion of the principal.
  • Therapy service providers are responsible and accountable to the student and parents for the service they provide.  School staff will not "sign off" on any service conducted in the school as the agreement is between the parent and service provider.
  • A collaborative approach between teachers, therapists, families and carers is in the best interest of the student and will assist in achieving positive educational outcomes.

GUIDING PRACTICES FOR RELATIONSHIPS

  • The delivery of therapy services in schools MUST be planned and documented in partnership with the school and family or carers.  In this way, all stakeholders have a clear understanding of their roles and can resolve any arising issues in a collaborative manner.
  • The student's educational goals are developed within the school setting through a Personal Learning Plan process.  Therapy services delivered in school should link to a student's plan. 
  • Therapy service providers are asked to ensure that they are appropriately equipped to fully meet the purpose of the visit (for example, bringing tools necessary to make adjustments to equipment).
  • During service provision sessions, service providers are expected to complete and update the student's Record of Service Provision sheet.  This is not a detailed report, but a brief outline of actions taken during the session.  This may be completed within 5-10 minutes at the end of each session.
  • Effective relationships between therapists and teachers are responsive and have the flexibility required to meet educational goals where resources and priorities change.
  • A high standard of confidentiality is maintained where information is shared between stakeholders.
  • Any concerns regarding students or staff should be immediately brought to the attention of the principal.

OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

The following information provides a list of guidelines and a starting point for discussion between families, school and therapy providers.

Decisions around whether to provide school access to externally funded providers will be based on whether it is in the best educational interest of the student for the service to be provided at the school, and the school's duty of care towards all staff and students.

Commencement Schedule for Therapy Sessions

School staff require time to establish timetables, routines and develop and understanding of each student's individual needs.  The commencement of therapy sessions at the beginning of each year may not be in the best interest of a student or their class.

Mutual Negotiation of Suitable Therapy Times

All parents and/or therapist should arrange a mutually agreeable time with the student's teacher before sessions commence.  This will ensure minimal disruption to a student's learning plan.

Changes to Session Times

Consistency of routine is important to all students.  We request any alterations to session times be negotiated with the class teacher prior ro the date of the proposed alteration.  In the event of therapists being unwell and unable to conduct the scheduled session, a phone call must be made to the school office between 8.15am and 9.15am on the day of the scheduled session. It is the responsibility of the therapist and parent to confirm that the student is in attendance on the day of therapy.

Therapy programs should be aligned with Personal Learning Plan (PLP) goals and contribute to the achievement of these goals.

When a service during school hours is proposed for a student, parents and therapy service providers are to use the Request for Therapy Provision During School Hours form (available on the website in the "Notes" section), to communicate a request with the school.  The request will be reviewed by the school to identify how the therapy service will contribute to the achievement of the student's PLP goals.

Completion of Records of Therapist Visits

It is important that a Record of Therapy Service Provision is completed by the service provider during each therapy session.  Time should be allocated for this to occur during planning of the therapy sessions.  We recommend five to ten minutes at the end of the therapy session.  This document will be stored in the student's PLP folder in the classroom.  It is the responsibility of the therapist to inform parents about the therapy session.

Completion of the School Induction Program

To ensure the safety of all members of the school community, and to adhere to WHS requirements we ask that the school induction program be completed on the initial visit to the school.  The induction program is located in the school foyer and we ask that therapists sign the induction register when they have completed the induction. 

Sign In / Out Register

To ensure your safety in the event of an emergency evacuation or lockdown we ask that this register be completed before and after each visit.

Identification Whilst On Site

It is a requirement of Mainsbridge School that all visitors are able to be clearly identified.  A lanyard will be given to visitors upon signing in, detailing their identification.  This is to be worm at all times.

Session Location

Mainsbridge School believes that any provision of therapy services is best conducted in the classroom environment within the context of the timetabled key learning activities.

Review of Therapy Service in School

Whilst our school welcomes the provision of therapy during school time it acknowledge that not all proposed activities and lessons are conducive to being provided in the classroom context.  Some sessions have the potential to be disruptive to other learners in the classroom.  The classroom teacher and their supervisor will review the suitability of a therapy session being conducted during school hours at the end of each semester, or as the need arises, with parents and therapists.

Class teachers are responsibility for the learning and management of all students during class time

We encourage open communication between staff and therapists.  However, class time is for teaching, Service providers will need to seek a mutually appropriate time for discussion and consultation.  Each teacher has a small amount of time being relieved from face to face duties and may be available during this time.  Please negotiate a suitable time with the class teacher for this consultation.

TRAINING AND COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS

Working With Children Check

New Departmental procedures for schools engaging the services of volunteers and contractors are in place.  Please ensure you provide a copy of your Working With Children Check to the school administration staff, along with the completion of any paperwork requested.  Your information will be submitted to the Department of Education for screening purposes.

Child Protection Awareness Training

It is a Departmental requirement that all external contractors working with children complete the Child Protection Awareness Training.  This is an e-learning module that can be found at: www.det.nsw.edu.au/proflearn/cpat A copy of the certificate of completion should be generated and provided to the school.

Providers may be required to complete relevant health care training specific to the student.

As part of this requirement, schools can require that provider staff demonstrate completion of any health related training specific to the health care requirements  of the student, as identified in the student's health care plan, and reflecting the nature of the services being provided.  For example, if the service included water based activities the external provider must have a first aid and CPR certificate.

Similarly, where the student receiving the service has anaphylaxis, it is necessary that the provider complete the publicly available online ASCIA anaphylaxis training.  https://etraining.allergy.org/login/index.php A certificate is awarded upon completion of the training, which can be provided as evidence that the training has been undertaken.

 

Summary

Before working in school, therapists need to provide:

1) Working With Children Check letter

2) Child Protection Training (current) certificate

3) 100 points of certified identification www.rms.nsw.gov.au/business-industry/public-passenger-vehicles/proof-identity.html

4) Appendix 11 completed Note: This must include your personal address and any previous names

5) Copies of the following current insurance policies:

    a) Workers compensation insurance or personal injury insurance

    b) Professional indemnity insurance for not less than $2 million

    c) Public liability insurance for not less than $20 million

 

All paperwork can be submitted by email to mainsbridg-s.school@det.nsw.edu.au

 

FORMS CAN BE LOCATED IN THE NOTES SECTION OF THE MAINSBRIDGE SCHOOL WEBSITE