Sun exposure in childhood and adolescence greatly increases the chances of developing skin cancer later in life.
The SunSmart Schools program aims to minimise student and staff exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun at school and during school-associated activities. To learn more click on the headings below:
- What is a SunSmart School?
- Why become a SunSmart School?
- Why join the program rather than go it alone?
- Developing a SunSmart School policy
- Become a SunSmart School or renew your membership
All Western Australian primary schools are encouraged to join the nationally recognised SunSmart Schools program, which was launched in 1998. A SunSmart School is a school that has registered with Cancer Council WA and has a comprehensive sun protection policy that is put into action during all outdoor school activities. This policy must meet the criteria developed by Cancer Council WA.
Schools, in partnership with families and their communities, have an important role in reducing sun exposure because:
- Schools have a duty of care to protect students and staff from harm. A sun protection policy can assist schools to meet this obligation.
- The crucial period for sustaining damage from sun exposure occurs during the school years.
- Children are at school during peak UV radiation times.
- Schools can influence sun protection behaviours through education.
- Sun protection policies can be included in existing health policies.
The SunSmart Schools program is free to join. If your school becomes a SunSmart School, Cancer Council WA provides you with the following free resources:
- a SunSmart sign
- curriculum and supporting classroom resources
- advice on health promotion strategies including policy development
- access to educational resources
- SunSmart lesson guides and activities
- SunSmart talks to parents, staff and students.
- 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 sun protection than a No Hat No Play rule.
- Current information - access accurate, current information on sun protection issues such as sunscreen allergies, nanoparticles, vitamin D, occupational safety and 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 sun protection items at the Cancer Council shop.
- Advocacy - Cancer Council speakers can talk to parents and staff about the risk of skin cancer and the value of good sun protection policies and procedures.
- Critical mass - formally joining the program allows Cancer Council to count your school in the program membership. In turn, this helps convince other schools to join the program and demonstrates your commitment to reducing the burden of skin cancer in the community.
Each school is responsible for developing, putting into action and regularly reviewing its own sun protection policy. The SunSmart Schools Program has example policies and templates to help you (see 'Apply to become a SunSmart school or renew your membership' below).
A SunSmart Schools policy should address:
- Why the sun protection policy is important for your school.
- What effect the sun protection measures will have on your school's curriculum, environment and behaviour.
- How and when the policy will be put into action and reviewed.
- How the impact of the policy will be determined (evaluation).
For more information contact the SunSmart Education Program Coordinator on (08) 9388 4351 or email email@example.com
Becoming a SunSmart School is easy, simply:
- Review the SunSmart School policy guidelines (pdf, 4.8,b)
- Develop a sun protection policy or update the existing one. A SunSmart Schools sample policy (word, 921kb) is available to download.
- Fill out the application form online or print the SunSmart Schools application form (pdf, 270kb). For information on details we collect, please see our Privacy Collection Statement (pdf, 51kb).
- Submit all paperwork to:
SunSmart Education Coordinator
Cancer Council WA
Level 1, 420 Bagot Rd
SUBIACO WA 6008