The purpose of this policy is to encourage behaviours at Princes Hill Secondary College to minimise the risk of skin and eye damage and skin cancer. The policy further acknowledges that secondary school students take incrementally greater responsibility for their own behaviours.
This policy provides guidelines to:
- support staff and students to use a combination of sun protection measures when UV index levels are 3 or above (generally August to the end of April).
- ensure that there are outdoor environments that provide adequate shade for students and staff.
- ensure students are encouraged and supported to develop independent sun protection skills to help them to be responsible for their own protection.
- support our school’s strategies to meet its duty of care and occupational health and safety obligations to minimise harmful UV exposure and associated harm for students and staff.
This policy applies to all school activities, including camps and excursions. It is applicable to all students and staff.
2. Policy Statement
Excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause health problems including sunburn, damage to skin and eyes, and an increased risk of skin cancer.
- cannot be seen or felt.
- can be reflected off surfaces such as buildings, asphalt, concrete, water, sand and snow.
- can pass through light clouds.
- varies in intensity across the year (highest in Victoria from August to April).
- peaks during school hours.
Sun safety is a shared responsibility and staff, parents and students are encouraged to implement a combination of sun protection measures whenever UV levels reach 3 and above. Information about the daily local sun protection times is available on large information screens around the school, via the SunSmart UV Protection Information shown below, the free SunSmart App, or at sunsmart.com.au or bom.gov.au.
Princes Hill Secondary College has the following measures in place to help reduce the risk of excessive UV sun exposure for staff and students.
Princes Hill Secondary College provides sufficient options for shelter and trees to provide shade, particularly in places such as:
- where students congregate for lunch.
- outside the canteen.
- outdoor lesson areas.
- popular play areas.
- evacuation assembly areas.
When building works or grounds maintenance is conducted at Princes Hill Secondary College that may impact on the level of shading available to staff and students, a review of the shaded areas available will be conducted and further shading installed as appropriate.
Sun Protective Clothing
Princes Hill Secondary College expects that in Terms 1 & 4, and whenever UV levels reach 3 and above, students come to school wearing sun-protective clothing such as:
- loose, cool, closely-woven fabric.
- shirts with a collar and/or high necklines.
- tops with elbow length or long sleeves.
- wide brimmed hat or similar.
- longer style shorts and skirts.
- rash vests or t-shirts for outdoor swimming activities.
As we are a secondary school, we expect students to take responsibility for being SunSmart by wearing a broad-brimmed hat during outdoor activities or staying in the shade, if they are not wearing sunscreen. Staff and students are encouraged to wear hat styles that protect the face, neck and ears when outdoors, for example broad-brimmed, legionnaire or bucket.
Princes Hill Secondary College encourages all staff and students to apply SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen daily whenever UV levels reach 3 and above. Sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours according to the manufacturer's instructions. Australian regulatory guidelines for sunscreen can be accessed here.
Princes Hill Secondary College has strategies in place to remind students to apply sunscreen before going outdoors such as reminder notices and messages on screen displays.
At Princes Hill Secondary College students can also access sunscreen from a permanent dispenser in the school foyer. Students who may suffer from allergic reactions from certain types of sunscreen are encouraged to contact their Year Level Co-ordinator to implement a management plan to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction at school. Staff who may also suffer from allergic reactions from certain types of sunscreen are encouraged to supply their own.
Staff and families should role model SunSmart behaviour and are encouraged to apply SPF 30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen when outside.
Where practical, Princes Hill Secondary College encourages students and staff engaged in outdoor activities to wear close-fitting, wrap-around sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard 1067 (Sunglasses: Category 2, 3 or 4) and cover as much of the eye area as possible.
Staff Role-Modelling and OHS
As part of OHS UV risk controls and role-modelling, staff should:
- If practical, wear a sun-protective hat or use an umbrella, covering clothing and sunglasses.
- Apply SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen.
- Seek shade whenever possible.
SunSmart information is included in staff handbook/orientation materials.
Staff are supported to access resources, tools and professional learning to enhance their knowledge and capacity to promote sun protection education across the curriculum.
Students at our school are encouraged to make healthy choices and are supported to understand the benefits and risks of sun exposure. Princes Hill Secondary College addresses sun and UV safety education as part of Health and Physical Education lessons in years 7 and 8.
Staff are encouraged to access resources, tools, and professional learning to enhance their knowledge and capacity to promote sun smart behaviour across the school community.
4. Evaluation & Review
This policy will be reviewed every 4 years.