THEY are known for being sizeable buildings at the heart of their community.

So quite how you lose half a college whilst counting part of an old school site no longer in operation could land you a fail in several subjects – including maths, geography and computer science.

However, when drawing up a valuation of its estate, Durham County Council officials included only the ground floor of the two-storey Durham Trinity Sports College.

They also added Croft Community School, in Annfield Plain, to its valuation – based on part of a now defunct school site.

“You couldn’t make it up,” said independent county councillor for Weardale, John Shuttleworth. “What kind of person values the wrong school and doesn’t include an entire floor of a building?”

The glaring errors were picked out in an external audit conducted by Mazars into statements of accounts prepared by the county council for the financial year ending in March.

Mistakes were also been found relating to West Cornforth Primary School and Chester-le-Street’s Bullion Lane Children’s Centre.

A report by the accountancy firm notes: “Our testing of land and buildings valuations identified errors in the areas recorded in the asset manager system for several council properties testing, in particular school buildings.

“In one case the whole second floor of a building had not been recorded. In another an asset system had not been updated and the valuation was based on the old school site which was no longer operational.”

The county council’s corporate director of resources, John Hewitt, said: “We are undertaking a trial early closure and audit of the financial accounts for 2016/17.

“As part of the audit sampling on assets, a small number of discrepancies were identified and further work is being undertaken before the accounts are signed off by the statutory deadline of September 30 2017.

“The council has had a clean bill of health when closing its accounts for a number of years and work will continue to ensure the 2016/17 accounts audit is completed by the statutory deadline.”

A council spokesperson added that in the case of Croft Community School the assets management system had not been updated on the date of evaluation, leading to a now defunct part of the school being included in the valuation.

Mazars partner Mark Kirkham, said: “The work we undertook identified errors in data used by the valuer to update the values of certain council-owned assets.

“This means there are errors in the draft statement of accounts. Management at the council have agreed to carry out some follow up work to correct those errors.”

“There is no indication of fraud and there is no suggestion that the council has incurred loss as a consequence of these errors.”