A SCHOOL secretary has appeared in court accused of stealing tens of thousands of pounds from her workplace.

Sharon Dickinson of Burdon Close in Newton Aycliffe, is accused of stealing almost £39,000 from St Michael's Church of England Primary School in Bishop Middleham, Ferryhill between January 2010 and January 2017.

The 49-year-old faces two charges of fraud by abuse of position and theft by employee.

She spoke only to confirm her name and address and entered no plea during the short hearing at County Durham and Darlington Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Ms Dickinson was released on unconditional bail before her next court appearance at Durham Crown Court on September 7.

St Michael’s Church of England Primary School provides education for children aged between three and 11-years-old and is located off The Park in Bishop Middleham.