Shade for schools
Shade Planning + Design
Planning + design checklist

Creating shade
Selecting your shade system
Natural shade
Built shade
Combining natural + built

Climate and comfort
Climate-sensitive shade design
Cool shade
Warm shade


Shade for specific sites
Childcare centres
The home
The street
Outdoor restaurants
Parks and reserves
Swimming pools
Shade for schools
  - The need for shade
  - A shade project
General considerations
Specific recommendations
Useful links for schools

This section provides setting-specific information for school communities embarking on a shade project.

The need for shade

Children spend a significant amount of time at school and are often outdoors when UV radiation levels are at a peak. Childhood sun exposure can significantly increase the lifetime risk of skin cancer and schools have a moral and legal duty to provide a safe environment for the children in their care.

In recognition of these facts it is now commonplace for schools to have sun protection policies. Effective shade is an important component of a comprehensive sun protection policy.

A shade project

One of the key ingredients of a successful school shade project is a Shade Audit which shows how your school’s outdoor areas are used, the types of activities that occur and the skin cancer risk associated with those activities.

When the existing usage pattern and risks are understood it is possible to develop comprehensive and effective shade solutions that meet your real needs and reduce existing risks. While each area within a school will have its own shade requirements, each should be considered within the context of the whole school site.

A typical amount of shade to ensure adequate shade protection would be approximately 2.5 square metres per student, however the adequacy of shade protection cannot be measured by area alone. Shade quality, shade location and site usage patterns are also critical factors.

Establish a project team to undertake a shade audit and to oversee the project. If possible include parents with relevant skills, such as architects, builders, landscape designers or contractors, surveyors and tradesmen. The team will need access to representatives from the school executive, teaching staff and the parent group.

Consult with students throughout the shade project. They are key participants in the use of the site and can offer insights that assist the planning process.

WebShade offers significant learning opportunities to students, both with regard to preventing skin cancer and within the general school curriculum, where the tasks required for shade planning can have direct learning application.

Involve all the key people from the start to help ensure that effective shade solutions are considered within the context of other issues, including any long term development plans for the site.

The following information is available if you have a registered version of WebShade. Register for WebShade

General considerations

   - Optimise the use of existing shade
   - Safety
   - Vandalism
   - Approval
   - Emergency Access

Specific recommendations

   - Open areas
   - Quiet areas
   - Fixed play equipment areas
   - Canteen areas
   - Sports fields and facilities
   - Pedestrian links
   - School bus stops
   - Events

Useful links for schools