TROUBLED schools in the Dungannon District have racked up debts worth just over 80,000 last year, it has been revealed.
The latest financial update on local schools published by the Southern Education and Library Board shows that four primaries went into the red in 2012, down from the 8 which overspent in 2009.
However, the total deficit for primary schools in the Dungannon District has fallen from 94,823 in 2009, to 80,512 last year.
The schools have taken significant steps to reduce their budgets, which included high substitute teaching costs, following criticism from the Education Minister John O’Dowd.
An audit report highlighted how covering vacancies and increased amounts of maternity leave have contributed to the cost of substitute teachers in local schools.
Dozens of local teachers stepped down from their posts last summer as education cuts begin to take hold.
The Department of Education introduced legislation making employers liable for the full cost of teachers’ premature retirement, anticipating this will over time reduce the number of prematurely retired teachers available to provide substitute cov