Schools across West Wiltshire have made adaptations for the new Government-initiative rolled out this week which entitles children aged five to seven to free dinners.

St John’s Catholic Primary School, in Wingfield Road, Trowbridge, does not have a kitchen as pupils previously had packed lunches.

Meals will be provided by Castle Mead Primary School in Hilperton, which will cook them on site, before St John’s picks them up and serves them back at school.

Erica Page, school business manager, said: “We are pleased with how it went this week. We have had quite an uptake already. Parents have opted to give it a try.”

The Grove Primary School in Trowbridge made changes ahead of the new scheme.

Dom Newton, vice chair of governors, said: “Grove has invested in kitchen facilities over the summer and improved catering facilities due to the big uplift in demand.

“We are continuing to provide balanced, nutritious meals for our children.”

St Mary’s Broughton Gifford Primary School, in Melksham, has chosen external caterers Lataca to provide pupils with hot meals and is considering getting another dinner lady to help out. Headteacher Angela McAuley said: “It was our first day yesterday [Wednes-day] so it needs to bed in. The meals were lovely, the children really enjoyed them.”

North Bradley Primary School, which has 177 pupils, is seeing the benefits of installing a new kitchen five years ago.

Headteacher Janette O’Brien said: “We are very fortunate we haven’t had to make any adaptations.

“We have an extremely good catering manager and we have had a good uptake. It has all gone very well.”