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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 3.00pm on Friday 31 March until 8.00am Monday 3 April 2023: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Report school based fraud

School based fraud is any fraud linked to a schools activities whether it be by a teacher, member of staff or a contractor and supplier.

If you suspect a case of school based fraud you can:

Examples of school based fraud


  • making false entries on the payroll, such as a fictitious employee to be paid an additional salary
  • claiming for overtime that has not been worked
  • payment of inappropriate bonuses
  • continuing to make payments that were intended to be one-offs, e.g. overtime, temporary increase
  • employing a family member or individual known personally to a member of staff without following appropriate recruitment procedures
  • claims for travel which did not take place
  • misuse of someone else's log-in/email details to set up and/or authorise payroll payments


  • processing false invoices for goods or services not received and pocketing the proceeds
  • forging signatures on cheques and putting false information on cheque stubs
  • misuse of someone else's procurement card to make unauthorised purchases
  • buying from a supplier or contractor known personally to a member of staff without following required procurement procedures or declaring a business interest
  • separating purchases to avoid having to get quotes or carry out a tender process
  • purchase of equipment for personal use
  • misusing school financial systems to run a personal business
  • carrying out non-school business in school time
  • using school facilities/materials/equipment for personal business purposes
  • transferring school funds into personal bank accounts
  • improper use of petty cash for personal purposes


  • theft of school income
  • theft of other income, e.g. dinner monies, school funds
  • swapping cheques for cash
  • unauthorised hiring out of school facilities for free or at reduced rates
  • not recording transactions, failing to chase debts or extending care provisions fraudulently for family or friends.

Why we need to stop school based fraud

Every penny that is defrauded from our schools (and taxpayers), takes money away from the education of our children and young people. In the longer term, this may be limiting our young people's potential as well as reducing the facilities provided by individual schools. Fraud within the public sector costs the taxpayer millions of pounds each year and this is a particular concern when school finances are tight.

Report your concerns

If you have any concerns over possible fraud in a County Durham school contact us so we can raise the concerns with the school or appropriate body such as the school governors.

Contact us
Corporate Fraud
03000 266 745
Our address is:
  • Corporate Fraud Team
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall (Room G90)
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL
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