As a physiotherapist, you will provide services to students enrolled in state educational facilities within a region, including primary and secondary schools, special schools, and children registered for early childhood development programs or services.

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Lisa: what to expect as a physiotherapist in a state school (1:04mins, 3MB)
Read Lisa's transcript (RTF, 33KB)

Role descriptions

General information about your role can be found in Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Services in State Schools Revised edition​.

Alex: working as a developing physiotherapist in a rural location (1:18mins, 3.5MB)
Read Alex's transcript (RTF, 34KB)

Line manager

If you are a school-based physiotherapist, your line manager is your school principal.

If you are based in a service centre, your line manager will likely be the Principal Education Officer, or the Principal Advisor, Education Services.

Professional supervisors for physiotherapists (senior advisors and senior officers) are based in some regions. They provide discipline-specific supervision and support, and work collaboratively with line managers in base locations.

Employment conditions

As a physiotherapist, you are employed as a professional under public sector awards and certified agreements.

Physiotherapists are classified as exempt Registered Health Practitioners under the Working with Children Blue Card system. However, if you become involved in out-of-school activities that differ from the duties expected of your position, you may require a Blue Card to undertake those activities.

Developing Performance

The Developing Performance Framework (DPF) provides:

  • a process for implementing performance development conversations
  • access to various capability documents and online tools to help clarify work priorities and discuss your professional development.

Clare: the importance of PD for physiotherapists working in schools (1:33mins, 4.3MB)
Read Clare's transcript (RTF, 36KB)

Professional learning

Your professional induction will include information about

  • workload management
  • use of professional frameworks
  • training materials and assessment tools
  • how physiotherapy services are provided in an educational context.

Various opportunities for professional development are published on the Professional Development website. You will find current opportunities in the Professional Development Calendars under the year and month of interest.

Luna: beginning her career as a state school physiotherapist (1:25mins, 3.9MB)
Read Luna's transcript (RTF, 34KB)

Membership of the Australian Physiotherapy Association is an avenue to gain up-to-date information about your field.

Professional interactions

You will have relationships with other government agencies, other professionals, students, parents, carers and educators in the course of your work.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
Last updated
08 November 2019