School operations

NDIS Funded Therapy in Schools

Step 2 – Make a decision

To decide whether to approve an NDIS funded therapist request, principals must use the information provided by the therapist and parents/carers in the Request form and parents and carers consent form (DOCX)External Link (staff login required) to consider all factors set out in the Key considerations section. These questions are designed to guide deliberations.

Individual circumstances of student

  • Has the therapist outlined clear therapy outcomes and aims in the request form?
  • Has the request been made in the best interests of the student or for the benefit of another party (for example, the working hours of the therapist)?
  • Will the student be able to access necessary therapy if the request is declined?
  • Will there be any significant adverse effects on the student if the therapy request is declined?

Child Safe Standards and duty of care

  • Does the therapist have a satisfactory Working with Children Check?
  • Is the request for therapy to occur during or after school supervision hours?

If the request is for therapy to occur during school supervision hours:

  • Can the school provide a safe and suitable location for the therapy to take place in which a staff member has a line of sight to the therapy (for example, a corner of the classroom or in an adjunct room with a glass window or in full view of the computer screen/tablet on which virtual therapy session will take place)?
  • If the proposed therapy will take place in a room isolated from other students, does the school have capacity to allocate an alternative space and an additional staff member to be present to supervise the therapy?

Reportable Conduct Scheme

Student access to the curriculum

  • Is the therapy time-dependent? For example, is the therapy a support that must take place during school hours?
  • Has consideration been given to the student’s access to the curriculum or other key benefits of the educational program if they are withdrawn to receive NDIS funded therapy?
  • Will the needs of other students in the class and the programs being run by teachers in the school be disrupted by the proposed therapy?
  • Does the student’s learning program have flexibility to accommodate therapy during school hours?

Practical and administrative capacity

  • Does the school have available space to accommodate the therapy?
  • Is the school equipped to deal with additional administration that allowing therapy might entail (in particular, specialist schools with more NDIS participants)?
  • Can the NDIS funded therapist and the school collaborate to share information and support the student to meet their goals?

Anti-discrimination obligations

  • Does the school have reasonable adjustments in place to ensure the student is able to access their education on the same basis as their peers without a disability?
  • Will school supports and reasonable adjustments continue regardless of the decision made?

Charter of Human Rights

  • Has consideration been given to relevant human rights in assessing and deciding the request?

School council support

  • Has school council been consulted regarding a licence for NDIS funded therapy being delivered to students on school grounds either in person or virtually?
  • Has the school’s Child Safe Standards Risk Register been updated accordingly?

Finalising decision

The final decision should be made on a case-by-case basis and considering all relevant factors. However, to ensure decision making is transparent and consistent, principals should also consider how previous requests for NDIS funded therapy at the school have been treated.

If principals require further support or advice when considering requests for NDIS funded therapy to be provided on school grounds, they should contact their senior education improvement leader (SEIL) in the first instance. If further advice is required, principals can contact the Inclusive Education Division at

Communicating the decision

Regardless of the decision, principals must:

This template letter outlines reasons for the decision made by the principal. This is intended to promote transparency and consistency in decision making and increase communication between the school, parents/carers and therapist so any potential negative communication can be minimised.

Dispute resolution

Schools must respond to any parents’/carers’ concerns and complaints regarding the decision in an effective and timely manner. To ensure that principals use a fair and proper process, it is important that parents/carers are given a chance to respond to the decision and consider any additional information they provide.

The department’s complaints management policy is that parents’/carers’ concerns and complaints are best and most effectively managed at the school level. If the complaint remains unresolved after contact with the school, the complaint will be referred to the department’s regional officeExternal Link .

The Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution is the final step in the department’s dispute resolution and complaints process. Refer to Parent and Carer Complaints for more information.

If principals require further information and support they can contact their relevant area team, including their Community Liaison Officer and SEIL.

Approving therapy

If the principal decides to approve the therapy request, Step 3 enables the principal to implement appropriate arrangements necessary to mitigate any risks. This includes ensuring that the relevant consent forms are signed and a licensing agreement is entered into with the relevant therapist.

Chapter in the NDIS guidelines on making a decision to allow NDIS funded therapy in schools, including communicating the decision and dispute resolution processes

Reviewed 30 January 2024

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