Online Learning

Recommended UV protection strategies

Primary schools are encouraged to implement as many of these measures as practical.

Uniforms, clothing and hats

  • UV protective items are available to purchase as part of the uniform and are included in the school dress code
  • School sport uniforms are UV protective
  • Students are encouraged or required to wear UV protective uniforms/items (i.e., collared shirts, elbow or full length sleeves, longer shorts, skirts or long pants), including sports uniforms
  • Staff and students wear a broad-brimmed or bucket hat that protects the face, neck, ears and crown of the head when outside. Caps are not UV protective and should not be encouraged
  • Spare hats should be available for students to ensure their outdoor activities are not restricted if they forget their hat, or students without hats should be encouraged to be in the shade
  • Wear a rashie or similar top for swimming/water activities (may not be appropriate for competitive swimming)
  • Adults wear appropriate sunglasses and students have the option to wear them


  • The school has sufficient shade or is working towards increasing shade (natural or built) in the school ground, especially in areas where students congregate at break times
  • The use of shade (including temporary shade) is maximised during outdoor activities and indoor facilities are used wherever possible


  • When outdoor activities are scheduled at times when the UV Index is 3 or higher, maximum use is made of shade, sunscreen, hats and long clothing to protect students and staff
  • Where possible, outdoor activities are scheduled out of peak UV times


  • Sunscreen is available and accessible to all staff and students
  • The use of SPF30 or higher broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen is required before outdoor activities, recess and lunch. Time is given to apply sunscreen and reapplication after 2 hours is encouraged during extended outdoor periods

Other UV protection strategies

  • Positive role modelling of sun protection behaviour is demonstrated by all school staff, parents and visitors
  • Physical activity in conjunction with sun protection practices is promoted. Students who do not have a hat should not be excluded from outdoor activities.
  • SunSmart student leader committees, roles and projects
  • UV protection and other topic related curriculum assignments integrated into Health, Science and Technology projects
  • Health Expos with SunSmart messages included
  • Develop a SunSmart information page on your school website or add the SunSmart widget.



For more information, contact the SunSmart Education Program Coordinator  (08) 9388 4351 or email

Register now

Why become a SunSmart School?

SunSmart Schools recognise that UV levels peak in the middle of the day and that as the UV Index rises, the associated risk of skin damage also increases. A SunSmart School has a sun protection policy and practices in place which aim to reduce over-exposure to UV. Cancer Council WA recommends implementing a sun protection policy when the UV levels are 3 or above.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure during childhood and adolescence has a big impact on future skin cancer risk. Students are in school when daily UV levels are at their peak, meaning schools are uniquely placed to educate about sun protection behaviour, minimise UV exposure and ultimately reduce a student’s lifetime risk of skin cancer. A SunSmart membership is free to join and benefits the whole school community.


  • Meet Department of Education sun protection regulatory and duty of care requirements
  • Reduce exposure to UV and future skin cancer risk.
  • Influence sun protection behaviours and practices through education
  • Develop sun protection policies
  • Access current evidence-based information, resources, advice and support

The nationally recognised SunSmart Schools program supports schools in creating sun safe environments and promoting sun protection behaviours to students, staff and families. The SunSmart Schools program is free to join and assists schools to minimise over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and reduce the risk of skin cancer by developing a comprehensive sun protection policy. Upon receiving SunSmart membership, your school will receive the following resources and support.


  • ‘We are SunSmart’ metal sign
  • SunSmart membership certificate to display
  • Free curriculum and supporting classroom resources
  • Information on sun protection for parents and school staff
  • Advice on health promotion strategies including policy development
  • Regular updates on sun protection best practice
  • SunSmart talks to parents, staff and students
  • 20% discount for Cancer Council sunscreen purchased through our online shop


Why join the program rather than go it alone?

  • Peace of mind – Cancer Council endorsement of your policy and procedures lets you know you have it right.
  • Comprehensiveness – have you thought of everything? There is much more to UV protection than a ‘No Hat No Play rule’.
  • Current information – access accurate, current information on UV protection issues such as sunscreen allergies, nanoparticles, vitamin D, occupational safety, health and duty of care.
  • Support – you get information about how other schools have dealt with particular problems, free teaching resources, access to competitions and discounts on UV protection items at the Cancer Council shop in Subiaco.
  • Advocacy – Cancer Council speakers can talk to students, parents and staff about the risk of skin cancer and the value of good UV protection policies and procedures.
  • Critical mass – formally joining the program allows Cancer Council to count your school in the program membership. In turn, higher participation rates add weight to our representations to the Department of Education. It also helps convince other schools to join the program and demonstrates your commitment to reducing the burden of skin cancer in the community.

Criteria to join the SunSmart Schools Program:

  • Most or all students wear sun protective hats year round (not peaked caps), or when the UV Index is 3 and above
  • Sunscreen is available throughout the school and its use encouraged
  • The school is working towards increasing shade in the outdoor playgrounds
  • Outdoor events are rescheduled to avoid peak UV times when possible
  • Sun protection is encouraged through teacher and parent role modelling and classroom activities
  • The school uniform/dress code includes sun protective items (e.g. shirts with collars, longer sleeves)
  • The school has a sun protection policy that meets Cancer Council WA criteria.Support Documents:

    Sun Protection: Best practice guidelines for Western Australian Schools [PDF]

    The shade Handbook: A practical guide for shade development in Western Australia [PDF] 


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Become a SunSmart member today!

The SunSmart program partners with schools and education and care services to develop and implement a best practice sun protection policy.

If your school or service is due to renew membership or would like to join, register today!

Register today