Physiotherapy services in state schools

Our physiotherapists support students to learn, move around the school, play, participate in sport, physical education and other physical activities and change positions.

What can I expect for my child?

Our service supports the school to make the reasonable adjustments that will enable your child to learn and be at school. If your child’s school asks for help from a physiotherapist you can expect that, with your consent that:

  • your child will receive an assessment—this could be through observations in class or specific activities, or one on one—to identify their strengths and needs and any barriers to learning and participating at school
  • the physiotherapist will talk to the school team (including you and your child) about learning goals and the strategies that the school team can use to help your child to achieve the goals
  • tailored supports will be built into your child’s school day.

Our physiotherapy services work differently to what you might experience in a hospital, private clinic or those delivered through the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This is because the service is about student’s participation at school. The service focuses on building the skills of the people working with your child every day at school and making sure your child can be included in the activities that their class is doing.

We do this by working with school teams to make changes to activities, the equipment used, how the environment is set up and supporting your child to develop movement skills depending on what your child needs to be successful.

How do I access physiotherapy for my child?

Talk to your child’s class teacher or the school principal if you think your child needs physiotherapy to access or participate in their education.

Physiotherapy services can only be requested by a teacher.

The teacher will ask you first, before they make a request for service. You can include information about any concerns or goals you have in the request.

Who are the services for?

Physiotherapy services are needs based, and are not available for all students. Physiotherapists may support your child’s school to make adjustments if your child:

  • attends a state school or early childhood development program
  • has a disability
  • needs significant adjustments to their education program
  • needs support from an physiotherapist to be involved in school or achieve a learning goal.

Do you work with other providers?

Yes. We understand that your child may be accessing support from a range of service providers so their needs in the home and community can be met.

If your child is receiving therapy services from someone else, let us know so we can work with them. Your child will not be prevented from accessing our service if they are also getting physiotherapy from another provider.

Can I be involved?

Yes. If your child is receiving physiotherapy services, you can talk to your physiotherapist and the school team about these services.

More information

Read Occupational therapy and physiotherapy services brochure (PDF, 360KB) for more information.

Last updated 04 October 2019