Department of Education WA strengthens sun protection requirements for schools

Department of Education WA strengthens sun protection requirements for schools

Cancer Council WA welcomes changes to policy for the sun protection behaviours and environments in government schools. Effective from 17 July 2023, West Australian school principals will be required to comply with the updated Department of Education’s Student Health in Public Schools Policy & Procedures as outlined below:

Sun Protection Appendix C

Schools are uniquely placed to promote sun-protection behaviours and environments given students attend school when daily ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels are at their peak.
The principal implements a whole school approach to promote sun protection including:

• evidence-based procedures and practices, developed in consultation with the school community for:
» monitoring UV
» effective protection from overexposure to UV radiation when the UV Index is 3 or above
• modified teaching and learning programs to protect students and staff from high UV radiation levels

The policy update arrives as SunSmart WA celebrates 25 years of the SunSmart Schools Program. The amendments are a positive step forward to protect students and staff from the associated risks of overexposure to UV radiation. SunSmart Manager Sally Blane said: “Most WA primary schools will already be meeting these requirements, especially if they are a SunSmart School. The improved policy gives our high schools an incentive to also enact whole school approaches to sun protection.”

To support this policy, schools are encouraged to use Cancer Council’s Sun Protection Best Practice Guidelines. The guidelines outline why evidence-based sun protection should be included in the policy and practice of all Western Australian schools. It also provides key recommendations on how to reduce exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation to students and staff.