St. Joseph's SunSmart Policy


Introduction:
St Joseph’s Primary School acknowledges that overexposure to Ultra Violet (UV) Radiation during childhood and adolescence is a major factor in determining future skin damage and the potential risk of cancer (Melanoma). Our school has a duty of care and responsibility to ensure that adequate sun protection is provided for all students, staff members, contractors and volunteers, when at school or otherwise engaged in school related activities.
The school’s SunSmart Policy, (this policy) aims to protect students, staff members, contractors and volunteers, as far as reasonably practicable, from the dangers associated with exposure to UV Radiation.

Purpose:
St Joseph’s Primary School SunSmart Policy provides guidelines to:
  • Ensure all students, staff members, contractors and volunteers are protected from over-exposure to UV radiation;
  • Ensure the outdoor environment provides shade for students, staff members, contractors and volunteers;
  • Ensure students are encouraged and supported to develop independent sun protection skills to help them be responsible for their own sun protection;
  • Support duty of care requirements;
  • Support the school’s Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) obligations and initiatives to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the School Community.
Scope:
This policy applies to all members of the school community, school events both on and off-site, and all other school related activities.

Implementation:
  • To assist with the implementation of this policy, staff members, parents and carers are encouraged to access the daily local sun protection times via the SunSmart Widget located on the school website or via the free SunSmart Application (App).
  • The sun protection measures listed are used for all outdoor activities during the daily local sun protection times (whenever UV levels are 3 or higher), typically from mid-August to the end of April in Victoria.
  • St Joseph’s Primary School encourages students, staff members, contractors and volunteers to protect themselves from UV Radiation in five ways.
Healthy Physical Environment:
1. Seek Shade:
St Joseph’s Primary School will ensure that there is sufficient shelter and trees to provide shade in outdoor spaces particularly in high-use areas, e.g. where students have lunch, canteen, assemblies, sports, outdoor lessons and popular play spaces.

The school will ensure:
  • The availability of shade is considered when planning all other outdoor activities;
  • Students are encouraged to use available areas of shade when outside;
  • Students who do not have appropriate hats or outdoor clothing will not be permitted in the sun;
  • An assessment of shade is conducted at least annually to determine the current availability and quality of shade;
  • In consultation with the school council, shade provision is considered in plans for future buildings and grounds.

Healthy Social Environment:
1. Sun Protective Clothing:
St Joseph’s Primary School acknowledges that clothing is the most protective barrier from UV Radiation. Sun protective clothing is included in our school uniform / dress code. This includes shirts with collars and elbow-length sleeves, longer dresses and shorts. Rash vests or t-shirts are also required for all outdoor swimming.

Staff members, contractors and volunteers are also encouraged to consider sun protective clothing when conducting or participating in outdoor activities.

2. Sun Protective Hats:
All St Joseph’s Primary School students are required to wear a hat that protects their face, neck and ears (legionnaire, broad-brimmed or bucket hat preferred), whenever they are outside.

Peak caps and visors are not considered a suitable alternative.

3. Sunscreen:
Parents & Carers must ensure that their child provides their own SPF30+ (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. In the absence of a student providing their own SPF30+ (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, staff members will offer a school purchased product to the student.

Parents & Carers are reminded that in this instance St Joseph’s Primary School cannot be held responsible for any subsequent reaction that the student may experience as a result of the application of school sunscreen. 

Sunscreen is applied at least 20 minutes (where possible) before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours or more frequently if sweating or swimming.

Strategies are in place to remind students to apply sunscreen before going outdoors (e.g. reminder notices, sunscreen monitors, sunscreen buddies).

4. Sunglasses:
\Where practical students, staff members, contractors and volunteers are encouraged 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.

Learning & Skills:
St Joseph’s Primary School ensures that programs relating to sun protection are included in the curriculum for all year levels.

Engaging Students, Staff Members, Contractors, Parents & Carers:
St Joseph’s Primary School ensures SunSmart behaviours are regularly reinforced and promoted to the whole school community. This is achieved via the school newsletter, school website/intranet, staff and parent meetings, school assemblies and at student enrolment/new staff orientation.

As part of the school’s SunSmart risk management strategy and role-modelling, students, staff members, contractors and volunteers are required to:
  • Wear a sun protective hat, covering clothing and, if practical, sunglasses;
  • Apply sunscreen;
  • Seek shade whenever possible.

Monitoring & Review:
St Joseph’s Primary School’s, School Council, Principal & Leadership Team, staff monitor will review the effectiveness of the school’s SunSmart policy and revise the policy where required (at least once every three years) by completing a policy review and membership renewal with SunSmart at sunsmart.com.au.

SunSmart policy updates and requirements will be made available to Staff members, parents & carers, contractors and volunteers.

References: