A brave headteacher tackled a trespasser after he wandered on to his school's playing fields.

Simon Cox, head at Woodlands School, in Woodlands Approach, Basildon, sprung into action when an unknown man walked on to the site yesterday morning.

Pupils were enjoying break time shortly after 11am when they spotted the man, who was wearing a T-shirt and jeans, standing on the fields with them.

Schoolchildren claimed he was beckoning and signalling them towards him.

Within minutes, Mr Cox had approached the man, detained him with the help of his colleagues, and called the police.

He said: “The man came on to the site via the houses and he was apprehended by the leadership team, myself included.

“We detained him and rang 999 immediately. Police then came very quickly and took him away.

“We place a very high emphasis on the safety of pupils, we made sure the pupils were safe all the time.

“There were more than 15 adults there at the time keeping the pupils away from him.

“All of the staff had radios so as soon as we noticed something was wrong, we radioed around.

“At no point was he left with the children on his own.

“The whole incident was dealt with in about six minutes.”

Pupils watching the incident unfold told the Echo the man resisted officers and was then taken away inside a police car.

Mr Cox added that parents were notified by e-mail at 11.40am after police had dealt with the man.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Police were contacted at around 11.10am yesterday with reports of a disturbance outside Woodlands School in Basildon.

“Officers attended and the situation was resolved.”