St Paul’s Girls‘ School slammed for serving pupils baked potatoes and beans as AUSTERITY DAY lunch

Leading £25,000-a-year private St Paul’s Girls‘ School is slammed for serving pupils baked potatoes and beans as AUSTERITY DAY lunch

One of the country‘s most prestigious girls‘ schools has come under fire after holding a special ‘Austerity Day‘ lunch.

St Paul‘s Girls‘ School in served a meal which included baked potatoes plus sides of beans and coleslaw, with students eating fruit for their dessert.

The independent school in Hammersmith which costs new entrants to its senior school over £25,000 a year, said the money saved would be given to charity.

They wrote in a now-deleted tweet: ‘Today was the final Austerity Day of the year. Students and staff had baked potatoes, with beans and coleslaw, for lunch, with fruit for dessert. The money saved with be donated to the school‘s charities.‘

The lunch was a sharp departure from the regular menu, where pupils have a choice of four options, and which features duck leg confit, seared cod, asparagus and slow-baked Moroccan lamb.

The message – later deleted – was accompanied by a poster reading ‘Austerity Day’ with an image of a servant in white gloves uncovering a plate of three peas. 

It prompted fury online, with one dubbing the post ‘tasteless beyond belief‘. Another joked that the students would not understand uproar over school dinners in the UK.

Another Twitter user wrote: ‘A private school apparently holding an austerity day where students eat what is basically a standard state school dinner. 

‘Next week they‘re off to Totten-ham with Catherine Tate‘.

Labour MP David Lammy said: ‘Is this a sick joke? A million people having to reply on food banks are not laughing.‘ 

Famous alumni of the distinguished school include Harriet Harman, Susanna Reid, Margaret Thatcher‘s daughter Carol, actress Rachel Weisz, and Rosalind Franklin, who was pivotal in discovering DNA.  

A spokesperson for the school said: ‘For many years, along with many schools and places of worship in the country, St Paul’s has arranged regular lunches when simple food is served and the money saved given to local charities.

‘The aim is also to raise the awareness of our students to those less fortunate than themselves. We take our commitment to the wider community very seriously.

‘The choice of the word “austerity” is to draw attention to the fact that others around them are facing significant economic difficulties.‘ 

A sample of the school‘s weekly menu includes meals such as: Spanish smokey samfaina (a Catalan-Valencian dish) with eggs and rocket, slow-baked Moroccan Lamb with broad beans, prunes and preserved lemon and Malaysian snapper curry with okra and tomato.  

A food section on the website says: ‘Everyone knows teenage girls can be picky eaters, so we try to give them lots of choice.

‘We regard the enjoyment of good and healthy food as a priority and lunch at St Paul‘s is a real highlight of the day.‘ 

What‘s on the menu at St Paul‘s Girls‘ School  

The leading independent school clearly takes meal times seriously as it describes on its website eating is an ‘important part of children‘s learning experience‘.  

Under the section of ‘school lunches‘, the website states writes: ‘We believe we have a responsibility to assist with the education process through the provision of healthy, wholesome and enjoyable foods – which also meet the ethnic and where possible the dietary requirements of pupils.

‘Children who have a balanced meal at lunchtime can concentrate better and are more receptive during afternoon lessons. Also sitting down and eating a meal together helps children develop social and interpersonal skills.

‘We focus on continual improvement to ensure that they enjoy their lunch time meal as well as providing value for the price of the meal Active, growing children and young people require plenty of wholesome food and regular meals.

‘At Saint Paul’s, we believe that we can offer something that will satisfy everyone.

‘Your child is able to choose from the following:

‘Main Meal – popular and traditional dishes including; fish dishes, curry with rice and homemade pizza. A vegetarian optionis always available.

‘Pasta – from pasta bows and twirls to spaghetti or rice, served with a variety of sauces

‘Sandwiches – a range of bread rolls and wraps with a choice of fillings Jacket Potatoes – with a choice of hot and cold fillings


‘Puddings and Desserts‘