Private school that usually serves herb-crusted salmon puts on baked potatoes with beans for “Austerity Day”

A private girls’ school in west London has sparked outrage after serving baked potatoes with beans and coleslaw for lunch to mark an “Austerity Day” designed to help pupils learn about “less fortunate” people.

St Paul’s Girls’ School, which has fees of £7,978 per term, had an “austerity lunch” of baked potatoes and fruit in a bid to introduce attendees to “simple” foods.

The school, where a typical menu for students includes herb-crusted salmon and duck leg confit, posted about the event on Twitter last week.

Campaigners have reacted with outrage at the event, saying it showed a “complete lack of understanding” of poverty.

Jack Monroe told the BBC the stunt was “enormously patronising”, saying: “I’m not outraged, I’m more saddened.

“They probably feel they are doing something good by playing at being poor,” Monroe said.

“An austerity lunch is really no lunch at all.

“I do not know anyone who lives in poverty who can afford to turn their oven on for two hours to cook a jacket potato.”

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