Sunsmart schools accreditation policy for primary and intermediate schools



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SUNSMART SCHOOLS ACCREDITATION POLICY

FOR PRIMARY AND INTERMEDIATE SCHOOLS

Why we need this policy

New Zealand has among the highest melanoma rates in the world. Melanoma is one form of skin cancer. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun causes sunburn, skin damage and increases the risk of skin cancer. Getting sunburnt in childhood and adolescence will increase the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers in later life.

This sun protection policy will apply during Terms 1 and 4, (especially between 10 am and 4 pm). However, from beginning of September UVR levels are increasing. Therefore sun protection should be used in September when children are outdoors for extended periods (e.g. sports days). During the winter months sun protection is not usually needed except at high altitudes in highly reflective environments, for example near water or on snow.

This policy is adopted from (insert DATE) so that children attending (insert SCHOOL NAME) are protected from excessive exposure to UVR from the sun.



Being SunSmart

  • Require children to wear broad-brimmed (minimum 7.5cm), legionnaire or bucket hats (minimum 6cm brim and a deep crown) when they are outside - for example during interval, lunch, sports, excursions and activities.

  • Provide hats for children to borrow.

  • Encourage students to wear clothing that protects their skin from the sun even when out of uniform (for example with sleeves and collars, and rash tops when swimming outside).

  • Implement a "No Hat, Play in the Shade" policy. Require children without hats or with bare shoulders to play in the shade or indoors.

  • Work with the school community to promote students’ use of SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen.1

  • Make sunscreen available to students at school outdoor activities, particularly at sports days and similar events.

  • Encourage all staff to role model SunSmart behaviour, for example use appropriate hats within the school grounds and during outdoor school activities.

  • Regularly publicise and reinforce the SunSmart Policy (for example through newsletters, school website, parent meetings, and student and teacher activities).

  • Talk to parents about the school’s SunSmart Policy at enrolment and encourage parents to practise SunSmart behaviour, i.e. in school newsletters and enrolment packs.



  • Talk to parents about the school’s SunSmart Policy at enrolment and encourage parents to practise SunSmart behaviour, i.e in school newsletters and enrolment packs.






A Curriculum that includes SunSmart education

  • Include SunSmart education and activities as part of the school’s curriculum at all levels each year. For curriculum resources visit the SunSmart Schools website www.sunsmartschools.org.nz

Building a SunSmart environment

  • Work towards developing and improving existing shade in areas where students gather. Shade can be both built (shade verandas) and natural (trees).

  • Include a sun exposure assessment in the Risk Analysis and Management system for any Education Outside The Classroom (EOTC) plan for outdoor activity.

  • Hold outdoor activities in areas with plenty of shade whenever possible.2

  • Consider the possibility of rescheduling suitable outdoor events/activities to early morning / late afternoon.

  • Allow children access to indoor shade such as indoor sports and recreational facilities/gymnasia during lunch breaks.



Supporting and evaluating SunSmart behaviour

  • Ensure on-going assessment of SunSmart behaviour, shade and curriculum emphasis.

  • The Board of Trustees and Principal will review the school’s SunSmart policy at least every three years.



  1. Sunscreen should not be the only or primary form of sun protection.

  2. The highest clear-sky UVR levels occur around the middle of the day. The Cancer Society recommends planning trips to venues with adequate shade or providing your own shade (umbrellas or tents).

Policy Prepared by: ________________________ (Name or title e.g. BoT) on _______________

Policy approved by: ________________________ (Name or title e.g. BoT) on ________________

Policy will be reviewed on (date)______________________


The prevention of skin cancer and the promotion of sun safety in New Zealand are led by the HPA and the Cancer Society of New Zealand, under the SunSmart brand.



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