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Pupils: Sunscreens

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) if he will undertake a review of the guidance provided to schools on the application of sunscreen products to pupils for the purpose of revising that guidance to permit children to apply such products; (290674)

(2) if he will issue guidance to schools on the use of sunscreen products by schoolchildren involved in outdoor activity during the summer months.

We have no current guidance specifically on applying sunscreen and none is envisaged. But we would not advise against pupils bringing and applying their own sunscreen in-school or during offsite visits. It is for local authorities and governing bodies to formulate their own policies. These should state the school position on the use of sunscreens in the school grounds and farther afield when learning outside the classroom. Teachers and other support staff are not legally obliged to administer sunscreens. That said, schools discharge their duty of care by ensuring that children are not exposed overmuch to the sun in any event.

It is good practice for teachers and support staff to check that pupils, while playing or learning in the sunshine, are protected against the risk of sunburn—by appropriate clothing and hats as well as sunscreen applied at home or in school—and that they spend time in the shade as necessary.