Don't put suncream on pupils, teachers warned

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Teachers have been advised not to put sunscreen on pupils for fear of opening themselves up to allegations of child abuse. After the recent heatwave, which sparked warnings from health officials, the NASUWT teachers' union said children should be kept indoors during hot weather.

Chris Keates, the union's general secretary, said staff who are asked to apply suncream to children in school should tell headteachers it was not part of their job. She told the Times Educational Supplement (TES): "Clearly, children have to be protected but we are extremely concerned about teachers taking responsibility for applying sunscreen to children in the present climate of false allegations. I am not saying that teachers should not care, but it is safer for teachers to question whether children need to spend time in the sun. It seems a very simple thing but it's one that could get teachers into enormous difficulties."

Nurseries and primary schools have been advised to obtain permission from parents for teachers to apply sun cream to their children, the TES reported. But the union said such permission would not protect teachers from allegations of abuse.

source: 'Don't put suncream on pupils, teachers warned';; Telegaph; 7 July 2006