Confusion over coronavirus school closures

ANNOUNCEMENT: NSW is keeping schools, such as St Catherine's Catholic College, open but encouraging parents to keep their kids at home.
ANNOUNCEMENT: NSW is keeping schools, such as St Catherine's Catholic College, open but encouraging parents to keep their kids at home.

Schools in Victoria and the ACT will close on Tuesday due to the coronavirus but other states and territories still intend to keep campuses open until the Easter break.

Victoria has brought school holidays forward to allow the early shut down, with the ACT to go pupil-free and facilitate classes online.

Face-to-face learning will still be available in the capital for students who need it.

NSW schools will remain open but the state's premier is encouraging parents to keep their kids at home.

"However, no child will be turned away, schools remain open," Gladys Berejiklian said in Sydney on Monday.

"The choice is yours."

With several states making unilateral decisions around school closures, the prime minister has said parents who want to keep their children out of class can do so until the end of term one.

Scott Morrison, who has insisted schools need to remain open during the pandemic, has said campuses will reopen for term two, subject to medical advice at that time.

Mr Morrison warned parents were responsible for keeping their children at home if they are not at school.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said he and his state and territory counterparts did not want children to lose a year's education as a result of the pandemic, if they could avoid it.

"We want our children to continue to get an education for as long as they possibly can during this COVID-19 outbreak," he told the ABC.

Mr Tehan also said it was critical schools remained open to accommodate vulnerable kids and the children of essential services workers.

Australian Associated Press