Skip links and keyboard navigation

School shade design

Well designed and effective shade not only provides sun protection, it will also help to cool the grounds and reduce heat. Natural shade in the form of well planted trees and shrubs can provide shade and help to improve your natural environment at the same time.

State schools

The Department of Education and Training encourages Queensland state schools to develop and implement a sun protection strategy to protect students from the dangers of over-exposure to the sun.

Private schools

Independent Schools Queensland and the Queensland Catholic Education Commission both strongly encourage their schools to adopt comprehensive sun protection strategies within the school community, placing a focus on shade provision and usage.

The Cancer Council Queensland has information on creating or updating your school’s sun safe policy.

Shade design

Read about how to design for shade and sun safety in public facilities.

This site can assist schools to plan a shade development project. It includes advice about design considerations and templates and resources to help develop a shade needs assessment.


Consider where the shade is being placed and whether you need to consult with other users of that space. A project undertaken in isolation may impact upon other users, or decrease the functionality of an adjoining space (e.g. shade blocking breezes near classroom windows).

Consider the site holistically when planning the shade project, looking at elements like the impact of natural light levels in adjacent class rooms, noise levels, impact on grass now in shade, collection of rainwater, overland water flow and alterations to pedestrian traffic flows.

Involving the staff, parents and students will ensure that the whole school is supportive of the shade development. This provides a good opportunity to discuss overall sun protection within the school environment, including the implementation of a comprehensive sun protection policy, and to establish the importance of skin cancer prevention for children.

Business service managers and regional facilities personnel should be able to assist with shade development projects and provide advice on acquiring funding for new projects. Through state government procedures, schools may need to engage architects and planners for a built solution for large-scale shade enhancements.

Queensland state schools can use the Shade Provision Process in Schools Flowchart (PDF, 69KB) to assist in planning and programming shade.

Last updated: 12 December 2021