Sunsmart Policy


Queensland has the highest rate of skin cance​​r in the world. Two out of every three Queenslanders will develop some sort of skin cancer in their lifetime. Re​search suggests that at least two-thirds of ​​all melanomas occurring in Australia could be prevented if children were protected from the sun during their first 15 years.

Skin damage, including skin cancer, is the result of cumulative exposure to the sun. Research shows that severe sunburn contributes t​​o skin cancer and other forms of skin damage such as sunspots, blemishes and premature ageing. Most skin damage and skin cancer is therefore preventable.

​​​Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels are highest during the hours that children are at school.  With this in mind St Catherine’s School realises the need to protect children’s skin and educate them about SunSmart behaviour, thus reducing the risk of skin damage from exposure to the sun.


The policy aims to:

  • provide ongoing education that promotes personal responsibility for skin cancer prevention and early detection.
  • provide environments that support SunSmart practices.
  • create an awareness of the need to reschedule work commitments and outdoor activities to support SunSmart practices.


Our school recognises that winter sun also contributes to skin damage. The implementation of this policy will therefore be cond​ucted throughout the year.

The purpose of the S​​unSmart policy is to ensure t​​hat all children attending our school are protected from the harmful effects of the sun throughout the year. 

Our co​mmitment

St Catherine’s Sc​​hool will:

  • inform parents of the SunSmart policy when they enrol their child.
  • include the SunSmart policy statement in the school Handbook and on the school website.
  • provide adequate shade in the school grounds, appropriate for the activities undertaken.
  • incorporate education programs that focus on skin cancer prevention into the school curriculum.
  • encourage all teachers and staff to act as positive role models for children in all aspects of SunSmart behaviour.
  • seek ongoing support from parents and the school community for the SunSmart policy and its implementation, through newsletters, parent meetings etc.
  • ensure that all students and staff wear hats that protect the face, neck and ears, and will provide SPF 15 or higher, broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, when involved in outdoor activities.
  • ensure students re-apply sunscreen once during the school day.
  • encourage students without adequate sun protection to use shaded or covered areas at recess and lunch times.
  • when reviewing the school uniform, consider the Queensland Cancer Fund SunSmart clothing guidelines.
  • require a ‘rash-style’ shirt be worn during swimming lessons.
  • ensure that, wherever practicable, outdoor activities take place before 10am or after 2pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time [AEST]).
  • ensure that, wherever practicable, adequate shade is provided at sporting carnivals and other outdoor events.
  • review the SunSmart policy annually.
  • consider sun-smart practices in future construction planning and work.

Our expe​​​ctations

Parent​s / carers will:

  • provide a St Catherine’s School SunSmart hat for their child and ensure that they wear it to and from school.
  • ensure that their child applies SPF15 or higher, broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before leaving for school.
  • support the School’s SunSmart policy.

Students ​will:

  • take responsibility for their own health and safety by being SunSmart.
  • comply with SunSmart rules and guidelines by wearing suitable hats, clothing, sunscreen.
  • apply SPF 15 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen when requested to by the teacher.
  • act as positive role models for other students in all aspects of SunSmart behaviour.
  • participate in the SunSmart education program.