A former school employee will return to court next month following allegations that she stole £40,000.

Linda Mary-Ann Bird, 51, is accused of pocketing pupil’s dinner and after-school club money between 2008 and 2011.

The 51-year-old of St. Thomas's Close, Waltham Abbey is accused of taking the cash from Upshire Primary where she worked as an administrative officer.

She stands accused of nine counts of theft and false accounting.

No plea was entered at a hearing yesterday and Mrs Bird will return to Chelmsford Crown Court on February 10.