Externally funded service providers
Externally funded health, disability and wellbeing service providers may seek to provide their services to students at the school during school hours. Access to the school by an externally funded provider is at the discretion of the principal
An information package has been developed to guide and support schools, parents and carers, and external service providers around the key legislative and policy requirements schools need to consider when making decisions regarding school access for external providers.
Feedback on any part of this package may be sent at any time to ExternalProviderFeedback@det.nsw.edu.au.
WEBINAR: Implementing the external provider information package
Watch an Adobe Connect webinar (intranet only) (48 mins) held in March 2018 with Donna Blatchford, Principal. The webinar explores how the information package has been implemented at Fisher Road School and answers questions from other school staff. Viewers will require their DoE login to access staff only content.
Information for principals
This information sheet supports principals in exercising their discretion to approve (or not approve) external provider access to the school and the matters that need to be considered.
Checklist for principals
A checklist has been developed to enable schools to ensure that providers satisfy all the mandatory requirements before they operate in the school, where access is approved.
School induction checklist
The school induction checklist can be used by schools to manage the induction of externally funded provider staff before they can deliver services at the school.
Information for providers and provider checklist
This information sheet and checklist details the mandatory requirements external service providers need to meet, and documentation they will need to provide to the school, before they can start delivering services at the school.
Information for parents and carers
This information sheet gives parents and carers advice about seeking approval for the delivery of NDIS-funded services at the school. It also summarises the matters the principal will consider when deciding whether or not to accommodate an NDIS-funded service at the school, and the ongoing responsibilities of parents and carers once the school has approved NDIS-funded services at the school.
External Provider Engagement Agreement
Before commencing service delivery at the school, external providers must enter into a written agreement with each school in which they propose to provide the relevant service/s. A template agreement has been prepared for this purpose, setting out the responsibilities of each party.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do the requirements apply to externally funded providers already delivering services in schools?
Yes. Schools should work with these services to enable them to meet existing obligations (such as Working with Children Checks) and continue providing services at the school. The information package highlights these obligations and introduces new processes and templates for principals to manage access to schools by externally funded services. Principals should consider how best to establish systems and processes to manage existing providers. The onus is on the service provider to address any compliance gaps as soon as possible.
Does a provider approved to deliver services to one student at a school have an automatic right to deliver services to another child at the same school, or at another school?
No. A school’s decision to grant access to an externally funded provider is to be on a case-by-case basis, reflecting the educational needs of the individual student and school operational requirements.
Do the requirements apply to officers from NSW Health or other NSW government agencies delivering services in schools?
The principal is responsible for all people delivering services within the school. Certain policies take a different approach where those people are employees of other government departments, such as NSW Health.
For example, the departmental Working with Children Check Policy states that:
State government workers such as NSW Health and NSW FACS employees are required to show their government issued ID (which will display the NSW Government Waratah emblem) on each visit to the school. Additionally, they are required to show a Driver’s Licence or RMS Proof of Identity card in order to verify their date of birth. This information should be noted in the visitor register and used to check the NTBE database through person search in eCPC on each visit to the school.
Schools are only required to sight the person’s government issued ID and Driver’s Licence and note this in the visitor’s register. It is not necessary to photocopy and store these documents.
People employed by the NSW government will not need to demonstrate that they have insurances, and those departments will not need to enter into an engagement agreement with the school. Principals may still wish to document the services to be provided by individuals and ensure that these staff participate in a site induction prior to starting to work within the school.
The department’s Probity Unit has developed a checklist that sets out the documentation requirements that apply to NSW Health and NSW FACS employees delivering services in schools.
Do external provider staff have to undertake health care training?
Not necessarily. The school principal will determine the health care training needs of external provider staff based on the student's specific health care requirements, the extent of the school's supervision of provider staff activities, and the nature of the service being delivered. For example, providers delivering water-based therapy should have a first aid and CPR certificate.
Does the school need a new External Provider Engagement Agreement with an existing provider for each new student receiving a service from the provider?
No. The school is only required to enter into one agreement per external provider. Service delivery arrangements for each student at the school are to be included as separate schedules to this one agreement (one schedule per student).
Does the school have to photocopy all external provider 100-point identification documents?
Not necessarily. If a provider has delivered services at another NSW Public School, then the provider’s Working With Children Check (WWCC) clearance details and 100-point proof of identity information will be recorded on the department’s Electronic Casual Pay Claims (eCPC) system. In this case, the provider is only required to show photo identification to the school to enable the school to check the provider’s WWCC clearance on eCPC and to ensure that the provider is not on the department’s Not to be Employed database. The school is not required to photocopy any provider identification documents.
However, where provider details are not available on eCPC and it is the first school they have approached, they are to fill out Appendix 11 of the Working with Children Check Procedures and submit 100 point proof of identity documentation. This information is to be entered into eCPC to allow for the department’s Probity Unit to commence its verification process. To satisfy probity audit requirements, the school is required to retain the signed Appendix 11 and make photocopies of the provider’s 100-point proof of identity documentation. These documents are to be kept in a secure location for seven years after completion of the provider’s services at the school.
Can schools hire out classrooms and other facilities to external providers seeking to deliver services in schools?
Under Local Schools, Local Decisions school principals have the authority to make decisions on the use of school premises and facilities, including hiring out school space to other parties. A principal’s decision to hire out school facilities to an external provider is to be consistent with the department’s Community Use of School Facilities Policy and Procedures.
Do the requirements apply to one-off visits from providers?
External providers, including NDIS-funded providers may seek one-off access to a school. This may be for an initial discussion with the school or for a therapist to undertake a one-off observation of a student.
The school principal will determine what checks and paperwork are required of a provider, as appropriate for a one-off visit. This will be based on the principal’s assessment of risks to students and the school. For example, a principal may determine that evidence of insurance cover, child protection training or health care training is not warranted for an initial meeting that only involves school staff. The External Provider Engagement Agreement would also not be necessary for one-off visits.
An external provider making a one-off visit to a school must still meet Working With Children Check clearance requirements, including a completed Appendix 11 declaration and 100 points of identification, where this visit will involve interactions with students, and where it is the first school they attend to provide a service (for more information on screening requirements at first and subsequent schools, see previous FAQ: Does the school have to photocopy all external provider 100-point identification documents?).
The department’s Probity Unit has developed a checklist that sets out the documentation requirements that apply to NDIS-funded disability services delivered in schools.