SP in Schools project 2017 Low Res V2

What you need to consider when working in schools

There may be several options such as: • sharing a speech pathologist between schools (e.g., same speech pathologist for primary schools who feed students to the secondary school); or • the school employing their own speech pathologist; or • contracting a private practitioner to work in their school as an independent contractor. You as a speech pathologist may be employed as a private practitioner to work with a school as an independent contractor. You may be engaged on a contractor’s agreement, engaged to perform a specific task or you may be engaged to provide a service under a contract of indefinite duration. In the latter case, it is important that you have a well-planned written contract with the school. This allows you and the school to identify the working relationship, rights and responsibilities, and expected outcomes before commencing work at the school. Alternatively, you may be engaged as an employee. In this instance, like any other employee, it is important that you receive a position description with key selection criteria (KSC). It has been recommended to school principals that another speech pathologist be a part of the interview panel and that your references are substantiated. If you are employed as a school employee, then your employment conditions will need to abide by the industrial agreement that covers your employment. The Health Professional and Support Services Award (2010) covers employees (including speech pathologists) working in employment arrangements whether it be private practice, private health industry and the public health sector. Awards and/ or terms can vary between states so you will need to check the appropriate one. Some organisations or individuals negotiate above this award or provide additional benefits or alternative working arrangements. This award is seen as the basic entitlement. Search for

the health professionals and Support Services Award (2010) at FairWork Ombudsman: Award Finder. FairWork have produced a pay calculator to determine base pay rates, allowances and penalty rates for the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010. They also provide information about pay obligations, pay slips and superannuation. For advice about the award, contracts and other employment issues, Speech Pathology Australia members can contact Anna Pannuzzo at Workplace Plus or on 0419 533 433 for free initial advice. Other useful SPA documents which address awards, wages and employment conditions; and employment/ contractor contracts for private practice are all available under Professional Resources on the SPA website: Clinical supervision and mentoring It is common practice in health professions for practitioners to have formal requirements for clinical supervision and mentoring to ensure their practice is contemporary and evidence based. Speech Pathology Australia advocates minimum standards of professional support and clinical supervision for speech pathologists including newly graduated speech pathologists. It is reasonable for the principal to ask you what arrangements you have in place regarding clinical supervision and mentoring. In an employment situation, it is expected that you would negotiate a need for supervision with the principal as part of your employment conditions. Speech Pathology Australia has information on the role of professional support and supervision The cost of speech pathology services in a school includes more than your salary or contract costs. Consideration must be given to the nature of the service, the number of students requiring support, the wide range of support needs within the local area, the number of schools receiving service and any specialist SPA Professional Resources standards for members. Resource requirements


Speech Pathology Australia: Speech Pathology in Schools Project

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