Sunglasses are on the uniform list at an Auckland primary school - but not for cosmetic reasons.
The North Shore's Belmont Primary has added the option of wearing shades to school in a move that has won over more than half of its 380 pupils in the space of a term.
Principal Bruce Cunningham said the shades were introduced to try to extend sun protection to eyes.
"You see mums and dads wearing sun glasses but their children won't be. We thought let's introduce sunglasses over the summer months and it's taken off."
While not compulsory, around 200 children wore the rubber-framed $15-a-pair glasses to school each day. This is on top of the compulsory wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap when they are outside during summer months.
Said Jodi Letica, mum of youngsters Sascha, 8, and Karl, 6: "I think it's great. My kids have always worn sunglasses so it made perfect sense that it was part of what they did at school."
The drive for increased protection at primary school comes as a study begins to find out how secondary schools are protecting teenagers from the sun.
The Cancer Society, which has introduced a sunsmart programme in primary and intermediate schools over the past decade, is looking at how to get reluctant high schools on board.
Many secondary schools ban hats and caps and lock classrooms during interval and lunchtimes, forcing pupils to stay outside during the summer terms.
This is at odds with strict primary school sun protection policies. At many primary schools if children do not have a hat they are made to play under shaded areas or classroom verandas.
The study, by the society's social and behavioural research unit at Otago University, will give the first clear idea of what secondary schools are doing to stop students from being burned during school hours.
It asks schools 12 questions relating to safe sun practices, including shade on school grounds, uniform hat code, provision of sunscreen, sun safe education, and staff role modelling.
Study head associate professor Tony Reeder said at the end of the project schools would be rated on sun safe practices.
Secondary Schools Principals' Association president Tom Parsons said it was difficult to enforce sunsmart measures during the teenage years.
He applauded the society's sunsmart programme success at a junior level but said this was largely because younger children were more likely to be compliant.