School policy guidelines for sun protection
During term time, children are in school during the peak UV hours five days a week. Having a SunSmart school policy can make a big difference to the amount of skin damage children experience.
On this page we have a range of policy guidelines to help schools develop a sun protection strategy that works for them. We have also developed a group of resources to support teachers when implementing a policy in their school. See the section titled 'Sun Protection Pack' below for details.
Where do I start?
School policies are most effective when they are created with the help of the whole school community. To help you develop a policy yourself Cancer Research UK has produced SunSmart guidelines for nursery, primary and secondary schools. These are available to download in the section below.
School guidelines include:
- an explanation of why sun protection is important and how a policy can help
- ideas on how to devise your own sun protection policy
- guidance on monitoring and evaluating your policy
- suggestions for points you may want to cover in your policy
- an example school policy
- an example letter home to parents.
Sun protection pack
Designed by teachers to help you run a SunSmart assembly
Designed by teachers to meet Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum requirements.
Sunscreen in schools
Cancer Research UK's Sun Protection Policy Guidelines (above) advise that schools allow the reapplication of sunscreen, particularly around midday.
In order that sunscreen is effective, it should be applied generously and reapplied often to ensure even coverage. This is especially important if sunscreen is likely to be washed, sweated or rubbed off. Reapplication shortly before going into the sun also helps to reduce the chances of missing parts of the skin.
Shade, time-tabling and clothing are also important considerations for schools when developing sun protection policies, with sunscreen being the last line of defence and useful for those areas of the skin that cannot be covered up.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) also recommends that schools develop a Sun Protection Policy that encompasses a wide range of measures similar to those outlined in the Cancer Research UK guidelines mentioned above.