A former primary school administrator accused of stealing more than £20,000 has been handed a 12-month community order for false accounting.

Linda Bird, of St Thomas’ Close in Waltham Abbey, was ordered to perform 250 hours of unpaid work after admitting four counts of false accounting at Upshire Primary School, in Upshire Road, between September 2008 and November 2011.

A total of four charges of theft by employee totalling £22,830.75, which Bird pleaded not guilty to, will remain on file.

The 51-year-old, who was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, must complete the work by March 6 next year.