What are physiotherapists?

Physiotherapists in state schools support people to develop their skills to move their body and participate in learning. They do this by assisting people to improve their posture, movement and wellbeing. Physiotherapists work with the school team to help students work in the classroom, move around the school, play during breaks and participate in physical education classes and physical activities.

Physiotherapy services in state schools

Physiotherapy services provided by the Department of Education enable students with disability to access and participate in all aspects of school life. The services support schools to make reasonable adjustments and support the needs of students. Physiotherapists can provide services for individual students, groups of students and the school.

Who receives the service?

Physiotherapy services focus on ensuring that the needs of students with intellectual disability, physical impairment, vision impairment, hearing impairment, speech-language impairment or autism spectrum disorder, are met at school.

Services may be available for students that:

  • are enrolled in a state primary, secondary or special school and have been identified as requiring signtificant education adjustments due to a disability through the Education Adjustment Program
  • attend an early childhood development program or service
  • are enrolled in Prep and are eligible for special education services or support.

How is the service delivered?

Services are requested by school teams and are based on the needs of students and/or the school team. Services are delivered through collaboration. Most of the time, strateges that support the student are embedded into curriculum activities and classroom. Departmental physiotherapists are committed to working collaboratively with other providers to ensure a high quality service is provided.

Services may include:

  • providing information or coaching to support staff to build their skills, plan, and solve problems
  • support and advice with assistive technology, equipment or other personalised resources
  • changes to the student's learning activities or classroom
  • supporting the student to participate in school activities.

Physiotherapists often work in a team with occupational therapists.

How to access this service?

School teams can request and negotiate services with the occupational therapy and physiotherapy teams. These services can be to support students, or to build the capability of school staff to plan for and support students with disability. Services for your school that are not targeted toward particular students, can be negotiated with your occupational therapy and physiotherapy team.

To request a service for a student (including groups of students):

  • discuss the needs of the student with their parent/carer and the student, and determine if occupational therapy and physiotherapy services are necessary and relevant
  • complete the service request form (XLS, 177KB)
  • request the parent/carer and/or the student consent to the service by completing the consent form (DOCX, 69KB). The form does not need to be completed if the parent/carer and/or the student does not wish to receive the service. If this is the case, do not submit the request form
  • request the principal or authorised delegate for your school submit both the request form and consent form to your local or regional occupational therapy and physiotherapy team.

The process and forms for making requests for occupational therapy and physiotherapy services will be changing from the start of the 2019 school year. Your local therapy team can provide you with more information about how these changes will be implemented in your region.

More information

Work for us

There are many opportunities for qualified, professional and team orientated physiotherapists to work collaboratively with teachers and school communities to support students in Queensland schools.

Last updated 11 April 2019