A former primary school administrator accused of stealing £40,000 from her workplace has had the charges against her dropped after she admitted a lesser offence.

Linda Bird, 51, of St Thomas’ Close in Waltham Abbey, was due to stand trial for taking sports club fees and dinner money from Upshire Primary School in Upshire Road, near Waltham Abbey.

She pleaded not guilty to four counts of theft at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, which was accepted by the judge, but admitted four counts of false accounting between September 2008 and November 2011.

She is due to be sentenced on March 3.