More than half of Auckland schools are each struggling to fill up to four teaching jobs, a new survey reveals.
Sixty-six per cent of schools across the region took part in the survey, which found more than 50 per cent had three or four teacher vacancies.
Auckland Primary Principals' Association president Kevin Bush said of those, more than half had advertised four or five times, spanning several months, and even then still failed to fill the roles.
He said it was the worst shortage he'd seen in 30 years.
"In all my time as principal, and in talking with principals I know, none of us have seen such a situation as this where there is such a shortage of teachers out there."
Bush said the Ministry of Education had known about this for some time.
"When Nikki Kaye mentioned it the other weekend, that was the first time a Minister of Education had actually acknowledged it was a dire situation.
"I don't know what the future holds but we're potentially looking at babysitters in classrooms because we do not have the teachers to fill those vacancies."
He said he was meeting with the ministry to discuss what measures should be taken and quickly.