Sun protection school policy guidelines

Display your school sun protection policy in a place where parents can see itDuring term time, children are in school during the peak UV hours five days a week. Having a SunSmart school policy can make a big difference to the amount of skin damage children experience.

On this page we have a range of Policy Guidelines to help schools develop a sun protection strategy that works for them. We have also developed a group of resources to support teachers when implementing a policy in their school. See the section titled 'Sun Protection Pack' below for details.


Where do I start?

School policies are most effective when they are created with the help of the whole school community. To help you develop a policy yourself Cancer Research UK has produced SunSmart guidelines for nursery, primary and secondary schools. These are available to download in the section below.

School guidelines include:

  • an explanation of why sun protection is important and how a policy can help
  • ideas on how to devise your own sun protection policy
  • guidance on monitoring and evaluating your policy
  • suggestions for points you may want to cover in your policy
  • an example school policy
  • an example letter home to parents.

Download the guidelines

You can download the SunSmart school policy guidelines as PDF files below:

You will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader to view these PDFs. You can download Acrobat Reader free of charge from the Adobe website. Visit Access Adobe to find out how people with visual disabilities can get the most from this software.

Sun Protection Pack

The SunSmart team have developed a group of resources to support primary school teachers when developing a bespoke Sun Protection Policy:

  • A poster to show how your school is being SunSmart
  • An assembly plan designed by teachers to help you run a SunSmart assembly
  • Two detailed lesson plans designed by teachers to meet Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum requirements


Sunscreen in schools

Cancer Research UK's Sun Protection Policy Guidelines (above) advise that schools allow the reapplication of sunscreen, particularly around midday.

In order that sunscreen is effective, it should be applied generously and reapplied often to ensure even coverage. This is especially important if sunscreen is likely to be washed, sweated or rubbed off. Reapplication shortly before going into the sun also helps to reduce the chances of missing parts of the skin.

Shade, time-tabling and clothing are also important considerations for schools when developing sun protection policies, with sunscreen being the last line of defence and useful for those areas of the skin that cannot be covered up.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) also recommends that schools develop a Sun Protection Policy that encompasses a wide range of measures similar to those outlined in the Cancer Research UK guidelines mentioned above.

Let us know you are a SunSmart school!

If you do draw up your own school sun protection policy please let us know about it by e-mailing

Your school could help us to inspire others!