Cancer Council Australia

Join our network

Facebook Twitter Instagram
Pinterest Youtube RSS

Larger Text Smaller Text Print

National SunSmart Schools and Early Childhood Program



Join the SunSmart Program today!SunSmart logo

Students are in school when daily ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels are at their peak, meaning schools are uniquely placed to educate about sun protection behaviour, minimise UVR exposure and ultimately reduce a student’s lifetime risk of skin cancer. Cancer Council launched the National SunSmart Schools program in 1998. Today it is offered to all primary schools and early childhood education and care services nationwide.

All Northern Territory primary schools are encouraged to join the nationally recognised SunSmart program. In April 2016, all Northern Territory government schools and approved education and care services (including preschools and out-of-school-hours care services) were mandated to develop and implement Sun Safety Policy along with sun protective school uniform and dress codes, to prevent students being harmed through excessive exposure to extreme heat and ultraviolet radiation (UV radiation).

Evidence suggests that childhood exposure to UV radiation contributes significantly to the development of skin cancer in later life. Educating school children and reducing their UV exposure is expected to have a major impact on the future incidence of skin cancer in Australia.

Over-exposure during adulthood also increases the risk of skin cancer. It is equally important that all teachers and staff members are aware of their own occupational UV exposure and protect themselves by adopting a combination of sun protection when UV levels reach 3 and above.

In order to receive SunSmart status and recognition, schools and early childhood centres must:

  • have a written sun protection policy meeting minimum standards relating to curriculum, behaviour and the environment
  • be working to increase shade
  • reschedule/minimise outdoor activities during peak UV periods of the year
  • teach, model and reinforce positive sun protection behaviour
  • agree to undertake periodic policy reviews with its state or territory Cancer Council and update their policy accordingly to meet SunSmart standards.

How to become a SunSmart School

Becoming a SunSmart School is free and simple. We work together with schools to provide free support and guidance in developing a comprehensive, evidenced-based and up-to-date sun protection policy as well as during implementation. Schools receive the latest SunSmart news and resources to assist in their implementation. Membership is reviewed every three years. 

STEP 1: Complete the application form. Please download the form here.

STEP 2: Submit a copy of your school's sun protection policy or use the Cancer Council NT's Sample Policy that covers the SunSmart recommendations checklist form. Please download the form here.

To renew SunSmart membership, schools can fill up and submit the forms below:

STEP 1: Complete the renewal application form. Please download the form here.

STEP 2: Fill up the policy review checklist form and submit a copy of your school's updated sun protection policy or use the Cancer Council NT's Sample Policy. Please download the form here.

Schools can send their completed applications thru:

E-mail: healthpromotion@cancernt.org.au

Post: SunSmart Program Cancer Council NT, PO Box 42719 Casuarina NT 0811

Please contact our SunSmart Infoline at (08) 8944 1807 for more enquiries.

For some fun activities and resources for children see our Primary School Resource and more on SunSmart Resources page. 

SunSmart school kids


National SunSmart Early Childhood Program

Early childhood services across the Northern Territory can also be awarded SunSmart status and acknowledged for their past and ongoing efforts around skin cancer prevention. Membership is reviewed every three years. 

How to become a SunSmart Centre

Becoming a SunSmart Centre is free and very easy. We work together with childcare centres and OSHC services to offer free support and guidance in developing a comprehensive, evidenced-based and up-to-date sun protection policy as well as during implementation. Services can access the latest SunSmart news and resources to assist in their implementation.

STEP 1: Complete the application form. Please download the form here.

STEP 2: Submit a copy of your centre's sun protection policy or use the Cancer Council NT's Sample Policy that covers the SunSmart recommendations checklist form. Please download the form here.

To renew SunSmart membership, services can fill up and submit the forms below:

STEP 1: Complete the renewal application form. Please download the form here.

STEP 2: Fill up the policy review checklist form and submit a copy of your centre's updated sun protection policy or use the Cancer Council NT's Sample Policy. Please download the form here.

Centres can send their completed applications thru:

E-mail: healthpromotion@cancernt.org.au 

Post: SunSmart Program Cancer Council NT, PO Box 42719 Casuarina NT 0811

Please contact our SunSmart Infoline at (08) 8944 1807 for more enquiries.

For some fun activities and resources for children, please download our 'Be SunSmart, Play SunSmart' or see more on SunSmart Resources page.

SunSmart Early Childhood Program


Secondary Schools and Colleges

All Northern Territory secondary school communities are also encouraged to develop and implement a sun protection policy or plan to continue from primary in reducing their UV exposure and minimise the long-term risk of skin damage among students. Please do not hesitate to speak to us if you require more information and what support we can provide to assist in your sun safety policy and procedures. Please call our SunSmart Infoline at (08) 8944 1807 for further enquiries.

For some fun activities and lessons for students see our Real Stories: Secondary School Resource and more on SunSmart Resources page.

SunSmart Secondary Schools Program

For further information about the SunSmart Program please email: healthpromotion@cancernt.org.au.


This page was last updated on: Tuesday, January 23, 2018