By law, all state-funded schools in England will have to offer a free lunch to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 from September.

The Government expects at least 87 per cent of children will take up the offer, although they will not be forced to.

In Maldon, some schools already have kitchens but others, such as Latchingdon Primary School, will need to get their meals brought in from elsewhere.

The Standard speaks to headteachers about how they are preparing and the benefits free meals will bring in Thursday's edition.