Secondary schools

We know secondary school teachers and support staff want to help their students be independent and to be able to lead healthy, happy lives as adults.

Adolescents are more prone to risk-taking behaviours, so students need a different approach to sun protection where they feel empowered to protect their skin.

Empowering students to use sun protection is about fostering a sense of responsibility and making it a natural part of their school lives. By combining education with practical guidance and support, you can help them develop lifelong sun protection behaviours.

Developing a sun protection policy

SunSmart recommends all secondary schools develop and adopt a comprehensive UV protection policy to protect students during these critical years.

A comprehensive sun protection policy provides clear, evidence-informed guidelines to address sun protective behaviours, environments and learning to minimise UV exposure and skin cancer risk. While there are many ways to produce this policy, you can also include student voices and the broader community into this project to support students to be part of the decision making process.

Use SunSmart’s sample policy for schools or the Department of Education’s sun and UV protection policy.

When is sun protection needed?

UV exposure adds up over time and every exposure increases skin cancer risk. When the UV index is 3 or above, encourage students and staff to use all five forms of sun protection.

In Victoria, this typically occurs from mid-August to the end of April. Use the free SunSmart Global UV app to determine when UV levels are forecast to reach 3 or above in your location to help plan your school day.

Educating students about sun protection

Schools play a key role in educating students about UV exposure harms and the importance of sun protection by:

  • Building on the positive sun protection behaviours and attitudes learned through the early education years.
  • Influencing sun protection behaviours through setting a positive example and role modelling the behaviours.
  • Encouraging students to check the UV level before enjoying the outdoors. Add the UV widget to classroom computer web browsers.

Are you looking for further advice on sun protection education and policies in secondary schools? Contact us.

Secondary school resources

View our resources developed to help secondary schools be SunSmart.

SunSmart sample policies

A SunSmart policy provides clear, evidence-based guidelines that help to minimise UV exposure and skin cancer risk.

Teacher requests & feedback

Contact us with any requests for support, feedback or suggestions on our range of SunSmart resources and services.

Secondary school case study

Hear how Camperdown College, a regional Victorian college, developed a sun protection policy with student representatives.

Families with teens

Whether your child is 6 months or 16 years, sun protection remains important.