SunSmart Policy

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1. Legislation and Standards

1.1 Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

1.2 Education and Training Reform Act 2006: Sch.5 Reg. 1 (1.2)

2. Definitions

2.1 UV – Ultraviolet

2.2 UVR - Ultraviolet Radiation

3. Rationale

3.1 To reduce UV damage to those within our care.

4. Purpose

4.1 To meet SunSmart requirements for primary schools.

4.2 Too much exposure to the sun’s UV can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancer. UV damage accumulated during childhood and adolescence is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer in later life. As over exposure to the sun presents a serious health risk, students need to be educated about the dangers of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and over exposure to the sun.

4.3 This SunSmart policy provides guidelines to:

4.3.1 ensure all students and staff have some UV exposure for Vitamin D

4.3.2 ensure all students and staff are well protected from too much UV exposure by using a combination of sun protection measures

4.3.3 ensure the outdoor environment is sun safe and provides shade for students and staff

4.3.4 ensure students are encouraged and supported to develop independent sun protection skills

4.3.5 support duty of care requirements

4.3.6 support appropriate OH&S strategies to minimise UV risk and associated harms for staff and visitors.

4.4 To encourage students and teachers to be aware of the effects of UV radiation and adopt sun protection strategies, as UV radiation:

4.4.1 cannot be seen or felt

4.4.2 comes directly from the sun and can also be scattered in the air and reflected by surfaces such as buildings, concrete, snow and sand

4.4.3 can pass through light clouds

4.4.4 is measured by a UV index that indicates the amount of UV radiation that reaches the earth’s surface and categorises the level of risk from low (index of 1-2) to extreme (index of 11+). Sun protection for all skin types is required when UV levels reach 3 or higher.

4.4.5 varies in intensity across the year. In Victoria, UV levels regularly reach 3 or higher from mid-August to the end of April.

4.4.6 is normally highest during school hours.

5. Guidelines

5.1 As part of the annual staff induction program, all staff will be made aware of the SunSmart policy and related resource materials.

5.2 SunSmart education will be integrated into learning programs from Prep – Grade 6.

5.3 Staff and students are encouraged to access the daily local sun protection times at or on the free SunSmart app to assist with the implementation of this policy.

6. Implementation

6.1 A combination of sun protection measures are used for all outdoor activities during the daily local sun protection times.

6.2 The sun protection times from the Bureau of Meteorology tell you the time of day UV levels are forecast to reach 3 or higher.

6.3 The school will monitor the sun protection times daily and communicate at staff briefing the times of day when UV levels are forecast to reach 3 and above.

6.4 Healthy physical environment

Seek shade

6.4.1 A shade audit is conducted annually by the Grounds/Maintenance Subcommittee (or when significant changes occur to school buildings/grounds) to determine the current availability and quality of shade. SunSmart provide a process/tool to assist with conducting the audit

6.4.2 The School Council makes sure there are sufficient numbers of shelters and trees that provide shade in the school grounds, particularly in areas where students congregate e.g. lunch, The Ville café, outdoor lesson areas and popular play areas.

6.4.3 The availability of shade is considered when planning all other outdoor activities and excursions.

6.4.4 In consultation with the School Council, shade provision is considered in plans for future buildings and grounds.

6.4.5 Students are encouraged to use available areas of shade when outside.

6.5 Healthy social environment

Slip on sun protective clothing

6.5.1 Sun protective clothing is included in our school uniform / dress code and sports uniform. School clothing is cool, loose fitting and made of densely woven fabric. It includes shirts with collars and elbow length sleeves, longer style dresses and shorts and rash vests or t-shirts for outdoor swimming.

Slap on a hat

6.5.2 All students and staff are required to wear hats that protect their face, neck and ears, i.e. broad brimmed (Prep to Grade 4) or bucket hats (Grade 5 & 6 only), whenever they are outside and the UV index is 3 or above. Baseball or peak caps, visors and any other headwear that does not provide sun protection are not considered a suitable alternative.

6.5.3 Students who do not wear a school approved SunSmart hat are not able to participate in any activity that may cause them to be exposed to UV radiation and are required to go to a pre-determined shaded area for the duration of that activity and be monitored by the teacher responsible at the time.

6.5.4 Students must care for their hats in a responsible manner and ensure that they are always named.

Slop on sunscreen

6.5.5 Students must provide their own SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen. Students are to apply their own sunscreen.

6.5.6 Strategies are in place to remind students to apply sunscreen before going outdoors. e.g. reminder notifications.

6.5.7 Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes (where possible) before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours or more frequently if sweating or swimming.

Slide on sunglasses [if practical]

6.5.8 Where practical, students and staff are encouraged to wear close fitting, wrap-around sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard 1067 (Sunglasses: Category 2, 3 or 4) and cover as much of the eye area as possible.

6.6 Learning and skills

6.6.1 Programs on skin cancer prevention and Vitamin D are included in the curriculum for all year levels.

6.6.2 SunSmart behaviour is regularly reinforced and promoted to the whole school community through newsletters, school homepage, parent meetings, staff meetings, school assemblies, student and teacher activities and upon student enrolment.

6.7 Engaging children, educators, staff and families

6.7.1 Staff and families are provided with information on sun protection and vitamin D through family newsletters, noticeboards and the school’s website.

6.7.2 As part of OH&S, UV risk controls and role-modelling, when the UV is 3 and above staff, families and visitors: wear a sun protective hat, covering clothing and, if practical, sunglasses when outside; apply sunscreen; and seek shade whenever possible.

7. Evaluation

7.1 The School Council and staff regularly monitor and review the effectiveness of the SunSmart policy (at least once every three years) and revise the policy when required by completing a policy review and membership renewal with Sunsmart at

7.2 SunSmart policy updates and requirements will be made available to staff, families and visitors.

7.3 This policy will be reviewed on a triennial basis as part of the school’s review cycle.

8. Relevant documents / links    




8.4 Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF)