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The way we were;A century of education in pictures;Millennium edition

(Photograph) - In this the first complete century of compulsory education, children have been photographed and recorded at everystage. Sitting in the playground with your friends enjoying milk through a straw is a pleasure that has survived since 1935, although the drink might be somewhat different in 2000. But some things will never happen again. Hundreds of earnest young wartime evacuees clutching their cardboard cases and making fora mysterious destination in the countryside are part of history.

In the past 100 years the classroom has moved from slate to computer, from rote learning to swapping information around the world. And in the UK each child is likely to meet more and more kinds of people as different ethnic groups share experiences and special needs children encounter all the highs and lows of the school day just like everyone else.

Children stand confidently on the brink of a new era, taking momentous change in their stride as they always have.

Heather Neill

1931: Food for thought - pupils at the lunch table in Boxgrove, near Goodwood in Sussex 1932: gargling for matron - schoolboys at the independent Lancing College in West Sussex protect their throats 1935: Children at a primary school in Leeds, drinking their third of a pint of milk through straws in the August sunshine.

1939: Evacuation for the duration, but of course it would all be over by Christmas - children, with their gas masks in cardboard cases slung over their shoulders, being shepherded to a place of refuge from Hitler's Blitz

1942: Refugees pulling together - schoolchildren from Gibraltar being taken for a stroll in a London park by Marie Loue Sene, 20, also an evacuee, who was hoping to become a children's nurse 1950: Democracy in action - school election day at Lingfield school in Surrey 1950: Democracy in action - school election day at Lingfield school in Surrey

1952: And homework to mark - John Harris, 25, of William Penn Secondary School in Peckham, south London

1954: Little angels - a school Nativity play as seen by a Picture Post photgrapher

1966: Date with disaster - a rain-soaked colliery spoil-heap collapsed on to Pantglas junior school at Aberfan, killing more than 140 people, on October 21

1997: Staying in tune - Clevedon secondary school orchestra, Glasgow. Last year The TES mounted a successful campaign to promote schools music

1995: Slippery slope - some special needs education moved away from schools such as Meldreth Manor in Hertfordshire towards the mainstream

1997: Don't tell anyone, but the face of Britain and education has changed irreversibly since the turn of the century. A playground scene from Curwen primary school in east London reflects the multicultural mix which is the norm in society today

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