Schools trust slammed for 'disgraceful' Christmas dinner for pupils

The Christmas dinner. Credit: Ciaran Walsh/@mistercw

A schools trust has been criticised for its "disgraceful" Christmas dinner.

The rations of a slice of turkey, stuffing, a small sausage and bap - with a mince pie for dessert - cost pupils at Steyning Grammar School in Horsham £3.50, which has now been refunded following complaints.

Parents took to social media to express their disgust that their children were served such a course.

Katie Burton said on Facebook: "Disgraceful, £3.50 for a roll, one bit of turkey, small bit of sausage and a bit of stuffing! And there was nothing else available for those who didn't chose Xmas lunch. Diabolical."

One complaining parent received a reply from the school saying the "overall feedback from students was that they really enjoyed it and this was evidence by empty plates and happy faces."

These views, however, were not shared by the parents overall. Victoria Nicks said: "Was actually so so sad for my 3 boys who were actually looking forward to it....."

Some tried to see the humour in the situation as they looked to understand the thinking behind the meal.

Emma Louise O'Reilly: "They didn't even push the boat out and put butter on the bap."

The Bohunt Trust, which runs the school, blamed staff shortages due to Covid for the underwhelming offering.

A school spokesperson told Schools Week: “Christmas meals are one of the many festive activities we offer at the end of term for our students to enjoy before the holidays.

“The Christmas lunch served to some students yesterday [Tuesday], however, was clearly not in line with the high standards we set for our school caterers, and we apologise unreservedly for this. 

“Due to a combination of unforeseen supply chain issues and Covid related staffing shortages, our planned lunch was affected at very short notice.”