Policy Statement

St Thomas’ School will strive to create an appropriate environment and  promote SunSmart behaviours that protect all members of our community from the harmful effects of the sun whilst participating in school activities.


Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.  Because the link between the sun and skin cancer has been clearly established, our school intends to promote a positive environment in support of SunSmart behaviours.  Of all new cancers diagnosed in Australia each year, 80% are skin cancers.  Research indicates that childhood sun exposure is an important contributing factor to the development of skin cancer in later life.  It 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 fifteen years. Given that students are at school during peak ultraviolet radiation times throughout the day and that most skin cancers are preventable,  schools play a major role in both minimising students’ exposure and providing  an environment where policies and procedures can positively influence student behaviour.


Queensland Cancer Fund:  Schools SunSmart Policy Guidelines.


While SunSmart behaviour is everyone’s responsibility, St Thomas’ School aims to consistently promote SunSmart behaviours as standard school practice.

Staff Should

  •  Plan to maximize the use of shade in the school grounds.
  •  Provide smaller portable shade covers for sports carnivals.
  •  Incorporate educational programs about sun safety into the school curriculum.
  • Continue to raise community awareness through education.
  • Encourage all staff and parents/caregivers to be good SunSmart models.
  • Wear broad-brimmed hats outdoors. Umbrellas are available in the Aide’s room.
  • Encourage and support students to use SPF 30+ sunscreen on a daily basis; at outdoor activities; lunch times, for sport, etc.
  • Where possible, timetable outdoor activities to maximize use of shade.
  • Ensure children are wearing SunSmart clothing on “free dress” days.
  • Encourage children to wear hats to and from school where appropriate.
  • Ensure sunscreen is available to children in all learning areas.
  • Provide sunglasses as an optional part of the school uniform.
  • Provide information on the SunSmart policy to parents/caregivers.

Students should

  • Follow “Hat on, I play” rule for break times.  Students without hats go to a shaded undercover area.
  • Wear either a broad-brimmed hat or legionnaire hat when outdoors.
  • Ensure sun shirts are used at swimming.
  • Apply broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen as directed by staff/parents/caregivers.
  • Act as role models for others.

Parents/Caregivers should

  • Demonstrate their support for the schools’ SunSmart policy.
  • Act as role models for others.
  • Apply sunscreen to their children prior to school commencing.

Review & Monitoring

Will take place on an annual basis.  Information will be included in the first school newsletters each year.