$27,500 for sun protection at Ballarat Specialist School

Wendouree MP Sharon Knight and Ballarat Specialist School principal Kim Yearwood with the portables set to receive permanent shading through a new state government grant.

Wendouree MP Sharon Knight and Ballarat Specialist School principal Kim Yearwood with the portables set to receive permanent shading through a new state government grant.

Ballarat Specialist School has been awarded $27,500 in state government funding to install important measures to increase sun protection around its grounds.

Wendouree MP Sharon Knight announced the recipients of grants from the second round of the state government’s School Shade Grants Program on Monday.

Ballarat Specialist School principal Kim Yearwood said the funding is crucial for the growing school.

“What will be built will be shelter over the classroom entrance areas and decking between the portables (at the back of the school),” she said.

“There will also be two free standing shade areas so that the children during lunch breaks can rest under them and enjoy the shade.

“This is a newer area, they’ve only been here the last 12-18 months, these buildings.

“This is part of a five-year plan for the playground areas. There are some other areas that probably will need shade cloth replaced or building some shade areas.

“Because of the growth of the school, our playground areas are getting more precious.”

Shading will be installed by the end of February.

Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and in 2014 melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in Victoria. It’s estimated that 40,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Victoria every year.

Ms Knight said it’s crucial for children to be protected from the sun.

“We want to see as many students as possible being sun smart – it’s as easy as slipping on a shirt, slopping on the sunscreen, slapping on a hat, sliding on some sunnies, and seeking shade,” she said.