COVID-19 prompts WA public school changes

The West Australian government is urging parents to keep their children home as of next week if they can access online and other learning resources, as major changes to the public education system are planned during the coronavirus crisis.

Until April 3, all students who need to attend school - either because they live with grandparents or their parents are working - will continue to be taught.

But teachers and education assistants will use the final four days before Easter to prepare for different arrangements in term two, so pupils who need to attend during this period will only be supervised.

WA Education Minister Sue Ellery said public education after the holidays could be a combination of online and physical teaching.

"Education in term two is most likely to look different," Ms Ellery told reporters on Thursday.

"I think it will be a combination of physical attendance at schools - maybe some schools, maybe all schools - plus a combination of distance education, which will be hard copy packs and online."

The State School Teachers' Union of WA said it welcomed the decision to introduce pupil-free days from April 6, but they should be implemented sooner.

"We understand the government is facing unprecedented challenges at the moment, but these measures will be extremely difficult to implement," WA president Pat Byrne said.

"It is not possible for schools to make plans to accommodate students when they have no idea how many are actually going to turn up."