Online Learning

Recommended UV protection strategies

Secondary 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 grounds, 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 SPF50 or SPF50+ 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 Design and Technology projects
  • Health Expos with SunSmart messages included
  • Develop a SunSmart information page on your school website or add the SunSmart widget. An example of this is Mukinbudin District High School



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. Cancer Council WA supports all secondary schools to continue their duty of care to protect students from foreseeable harm by adopting comprehensive, UV protection policies to protect students during these critical years.

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.


Secondary Schools can play a leading role in UV protection for adolescents:

  • Acknowledging that UV protection is a duty of care issue
  • Building on the positive UV protection behaviours and attitudes that are part of primary schools
  • Influencing sun protection behaviours through education and role modelling
  • Protecting students during peak UV periods of the day
  • Meeting WHS requirements to protect staff

Further background reading:

‘Teacher perceptions of sun protection practices in the secondary school setting: Barriers, enablers and recommendations for the future’  [PDF]

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

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

Over image

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