Job Description

As Occupational Therapist The Post Holder Will:

  • Ddeliver a specialist Occupational Therapy (OT) service to the pupils, working closely within a team of colleagues of all disciplines
  • Support pupils with Occupational Therapy recommendations on their Educational Healthcare Plans and take referrals regarding pupils within the school
  • Provide a service to meet the changing needs presented by the pupils of the school
  • Adapt the service to meet any additional demands presented by the pupils e.g. challenging behaviour, autistic spectrum disorder and/or additional needs
  • Provide clinical assessment, reports, therapy programmes and advice and training within the school environment
  • Involve pupils and their carers throughout the intervention in order to support and enhance pupils and young people’s ability to access their education
  • To safeguard and promote the welfare of the pupil’s accessing Occupational Therapy and raise any concerns to the safeguarding officer
  • Be an autonomous practitioner who will carry continuing responsibility for a defined clinical caseload
  • Supervise work of assistants, trainees and others working with post holder, wherever applicable.

Main Areas of Responsibility

Communication and Relationships

  1. To communicate effectively in a highly skilled and sensitive manner complex and sensitive information with pupils, parents/carers and other school staff ensuring participation of all involved in effective management of the child’s needs.
  2. To use a specialist level of skills in negotiating, agreeing, and setting goals with the family and other professionals and to manage potentially conflicting situations when information may be contentious or distressing.
  3. To ensure all work is sensitive to the needs of a range of ethnic, cultural and religious groups is gender sensitive, anti-discriminatory and values diversity.
  4. To inform and empower parents and carers in understanding the nature of their child’s disability, the impact it has on behaviour and communicative function and the activities and strategies they can use at home to develop their child’s communication abilities and how the Occupational Therapy needs of their child will be met in the school.
  5. To demonstrate flexible communication skills where there may be barriers to communication due to hearing, speech or visual impairment, learning disabilities, social communication difficulties or for where English is not their first language.
  6. To carry out appropriate classroom observations and consult with class teams, parents, carers and other professionals as appropriate prior to assessment or work undertaken with pupils.
  7. To address consent throughout involvement with a child and aim to work co-operatively with parents, teaching staff and other professionals.
  8. To participate and contribute to class and staff meetings, and parents’ evenings.
  9. To participate and contribute to the Multi-Professional Team Meetings and communicate complex and sensitive information. To contribute to effective team functioning, service delivery and development.
  10. To participate and contribute to regular Therapies Service Meetings, Team Meetings, Team Supervision and consultations with other members of the SaLT team.
  11. Provide training for staff and parents.
  12. To be part of Gesher’s Admissions Panel
  13. To provide training to an outside agency once per year, as appropriate (ie PAjES)

Knowledge, Training and Experience

  1. To provide a specialist OT service, based on professional knowledge acquired through training in Speech and Language therapy to degree level.
  2. To draw on up to date knowledge gained from relevant training and experience of working with special needs, integrating knowledge and understanding of child development to address communication needs.
  3. To be responsible for the management and development of own Continuing Professional Development (CPD), identifying and contributing to the evidence based practice of Occupational Therapy.
  4. To attend relevant courses, lectures and visits and keep up to date with relevant professional knowledge, including mandatory school INSET.
  5. To follow the relevant professional body’s CPD scheme, and adhere to the CPD requirements of the HCPC and of Gesher School.
  6. To participate in Gesher’s Appraisal process with the Headteach and or Deputy Headteacher.
  7. To achieve and demonstrate agreed standards of personal and professional development within agreed timescales.
  8. To understand and apply National Guidelines and legislation relating Occupational Therapy practice.

Analytical and Judgemental

  1. To undertake comprehensive and specialist assessments of pupils with a range of disabilities, using appropriate standardised and non-standardised tests, clinical observations as well as gathering appropriate information from a variety of sources.
  2. To act as an autonomous practitioner utilising advanced levels of problem solving, reasoning skills and independence of judgment.
  3. To assess, recommend and where appropriate provide a range of specialist equipment and / or aids for pupils in school to optimise their physical and sensory abilities.
  4. To assess for and advise others in determining appropriate and best use of equipment and to assess the competence of others (school staff) to carry out advice regarding best use of equipment.
  5. To provide screening assessment and advice on the potential Occupational Therapy needs of prospective pupils.

Planning and Organisation

  1. To autonomously manage a complex OT caseload of pupils with a range of neurological and developmental disabilities.
  2. To prioritise, plan and develop appropriate individual or group goal and task oriented treatment plans and formulate a range of individualised specialist treatment programmes, in consultation with parents and class staff.
  3. To arrange regular clinical supervision in accordance with professional codes of practice. (The school will contribute towards the costs).
  4. To be responsible for liaising with other agencies, including referral and/or joint assessments and following appropriate after care protocols.
  5. To undertake risk assessments in relation to pupils on caseload and specialist areas including equipment assessments and to keep up to date with new guidelines and legislation.
  6. To work alongside the Learning Support Assistant with responsibility for OT support to: identify pupils to work with; set, review and update targets; deliver appropriate programs to individuals and/or groups of pupils, where appropriate.

Responsibility for Client Care

  1. To assess, plan, implement and evaluate OT interventions, using advanced clinical reasoning, critical thinking, reflection and analysis.
  2. To provide specialist, individual, child focused assessments and interventions for pupils with OT recommendations on their Educational Healthcare Plans / EHC plans including reviewing assessments, contributing to IEPs and target setting.
  3. To use specialist knowledge to refer pupils and families to other services/professionals as necessary.
  4. To ensure that pupils’ needs are identified, assessed and constantly monitored and any referrals made, including further specialist interventions.
  5. To use specialist knowledge, skills and experience to select and administer specialist paediatric standardised/non-standardised OT assessment tools.
  6. To monitor, evaluate and modify intervention using set goals, feedback, re-assessment and evidence based practice to measure the effectiveness of the intervention.
  7. To provide varied modes of intervention e.g. group settings, paired therapy sessions, joint therapy sessions, advice, consultation, teaching others.
  8. To report any incidents of harm or near risk in line with Gesher’s Policy ensuring appropriate actions are taken to reduce risk and reoccurrence.
  9.  To promote and safeguard the welfare of the pupils and young people in therapy at all times, and to maintain good standards of client care and personal professionalism to provide an effective therapeutic environment.

Responsibility for Policy/ Service Development

  1.  Work within a changing environment and make recommendations for service development.
  2.  To work in accordance with school policies and procedures and local authority guidelines.
  3.  To be responsible for the health and safety of self and others using proactive and reactive strategies. This may include using positive handling techniques.
  4.  To liaise closely with the Head on the role of the Occupational Therapist within the school and propose changes to practice and procedures within service.
  5.  To implement policies and propose changes to the Therapy team, in order to develop Occupational Therapy services according to pupil need and in accordance with national and professional guidelines.
  6.  To contribute to clinical governance initiatives.

Responsibility for Financial and Physical Resources

  1.  To ensure that pupils’ sensory and physical needs are constantly monitored and reassessed and that each child has the most appropriate strategies and equipment to facilitate their independence within the educational setting.
  2.  To work within budgets e.g. for equipment prescription and to use resources efficiently.
  3.  To consider value for money when recommending and/or sourcing equipment for pupils.
  4.  To maintain and upkeep equipment in accordance with departmental guidelines.
  5.  To keep an inventory of equipment, monitor resource levels and contribute to the ordering of new equipment.
  6.  To be responsible for the security, care and maintenance of equipment ensuring standards of infection control and safety are maintained.

Responsibility for Human Resources

  1.  To train, supervise and provide guidance to OT assistants and to delegate reasonable duties to them following local protocols, where appropriate.
  2.  To supervise and provide guidance to OT trainees who work with the post holder as appropriate.
  3.  To support the induction of new staff within the clinical area and new members of the MDT and school as a whole, where appropriate.

Responsibility for Information Resources

  1.  To provide written guidance for staff and complete practical demonstration of equipment/specific interventions when required.
  2.  To keep up to date and accurate clinical records within the codes of practice and professional guidelines for Occupational Therapy, Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  3.  To maintain up-to-date records of your clinical intervention according to professional standards, including goal setting, clinical paperwork and statistics.
  4.  To prepare specialist reports where appropriate, to inform local health, social care and education providers of a child’s needs, to make recommendations as to provision required to assist a child’s development and inclusion in family, educational and community life, including providing written clinical reports for Annual and Statutory Reviews.
  5.  Utilise formal and informal reporting mechanisms including electronic reporting to ensure effective communication across education, health and social care.
  6.  To keep a timely and reliable database of program reviews.
  7.  To ensure that all paperwork is followed up to completion e.g.: equipment orders.
  8.  To safely and securely store any audio / audio-visual recordings from sessions.

Responsibility for Research and Development

  1.  To participate in specific projects as agreed and contribute to discussions of research articles in the OT team, where appropriate.
  2.  To demonstrate the ability to critically appraise current research and present findings to colleagues.
  3.  To actively search for and critically appraise research evidence to inform own practice and to maintain an up to date knowledge of research, new initiatives and professional practice.
  4.  To participate in and lead where directed in the collection of data using outcome measures for departmental audits or service development projects.

Freedom to Act

  1.  To work as an autonomous practitioner within the standards of professional practice laid down by the RCOT (Royal College of Occupational Therapists) and HCPC.
  2.  To comply and work within codes of practice, professional guidelines and standards of the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), RCOT (Royal College of Occupational Therapists), appropriate SIGs (Special Interest Groups) and Gesher School – including those relating to Equal Opportunities, Health and Safety, Confidentiality of Information and Data Protection Act.
  3.  Work is managed rather than supervised.

Deadline for Applications: Ongoing Basis

This list is only an indication of the main tasks required to be performed. It is not an exhaustive list of duties and responsibilities and may be subject to amendments to take account of changing circumstances.

Gesher School reserves the right that you may be required to undertake such other duties and/or hours of work as may reasonably be required of you commensurate with your grade at your normal place of work.

Gesher is committed to Safeguarding all children and all applicants will be asked to make declarations regarding their criminal history prior to interview. The post will be subject to satisfactory safeguarding references and to an enhanced CRB check being received.

Gesher is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applicants of both genders and all race, cultural, language and faith backgrounds. We do not discriminate on grounds of age, disability or sexual orientation.

Gesher School is committed to whole staff professional development.