Education boards have been given an extra 16 days to have their reports on the viability of every school on the Education Minister's desk.
The five boards and the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools now have until January 16 to complete the viability audit.
Authorities had made a plea to minister John O'Dowd to delay the process by one month over concerns that schools were not being given enough time to consider the impact of further budget cuts.
A Southern Education and Library Board sposkesman said they asked for the delay "in order to allow schools to have time to consider the impact of the new finance planning figures".
In November finances were thrown into chaos when the budget was slashed, leaving schools getting 5% less funding.
Once the viability audit is completed the next stage will focus on schools, particularly post primary, identified as experiencing severe stress.