EIGHT schools in Brighton and Hove have already scrapped a trial two-week half term.

The citywide experiment to make the autumn break longer went ahead in October and was intended to last two years.

It was a bid to help parents faced with holiday companies which dramatically increase their prices around school holiday dates.

Traditionally schools have one week off in October but the experiment doubled that.

But already two secondary schools and six primary schools have decided to opt out of the trial.

Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove was the first, saying its students were being “deprived” of teaching time in the run up to exams.

Headteacher Dr James Kilmartin told parents in a letter: “We are losing one week of prime learning time.

“Our Year 11 and Year 13 students are not in school at that time as they have finished their examinations so they are being deprived of important teaching in the run up to those public exams.

“For students in other years a two-week half term interrupts the momentum of learning which has built up since we started the school year just six weeks ago.

“The main argument for a two-week October half term is that it enables disadvantaged families to have a holiday at a lower price than they would have to pay at peak times.

“This may be so in a few cases. However many families will not be able to take advantage of this for a variety of reasons.

“Moreover, as those of us with teenage children know, school holiday periods –whether spent at home or abroad – often lead to significantly increased expenses. Many of our families will now have an unwelcome, additional, source of expense between a costly summer and a costly Christmas.”

The school’s catchment area covers East and West Sussex and there were also concerns that parents with other children at other schools were being forced to make additional childcare arrangements.

Six Catholic primary schools followed suit, including St Mary Magdalen’s, St Joseph’s, St John the Baptist and St Bernadette’s in Brighton, Cottesmore St Mary in Hove and St Mary’s in Portslade.

Last week Church of England free school King’s School in Portslade also dropped out, calling the two-week half term “detrimental”.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said: “Decisions about term dates at Catholic schools are made by the schools’ governing bodies and they are under no obligation to follow dates set by the council.”

The trial introduced this year did not reduce the number of teaching days, as changes were made to the start and finish dates of the three terms.

On Monday the council launched a consultation to gather feedback from parents and schools.

The spokeswoman added: “We hope everybody interested will take part in the consultation on the two-week autumn half term break and all responses will be taken into account when councillors consider the impact of the change.”