THERE might be a hiatus for current school children right now but school is something which has been a constant for centuries.

But back when some of these black and white images were taken education was not as structured as it is today and children would have left much earlier.

Colchester itself has a rich history of schools, many of which are seen here in this old pictures.

Reader and history enthusiast John Hyland sent in four of them, which he explains were passed down by family and friends through the generations.

Among those schools featured are an image which is from 1906 at St Osyth’s School in Clacton, St John’s Green School and the Blue Coat School, one of a series across the country set up by the charity of the same name.

This school, along with St Mary-at-the-Walls Infants School no longer exist.

The Bluecoat School was immortalised by well-known Colchester artist Frank Daniell who painted two famed paintings featuring pupils from the school, Blue Coat Schoolboy and Blue Coat Schoolgirl in the early 1900s.

It had opened in 1710 as a Church charity school for the whole town to prepare around 100 boys and girls for apprenticeship or service.

Historians explain it was supported by subscriptions, benefactions, and, at first, voluntary payments from some children’s families.

Subscribers and benefactors had the right to nominate children as pupils.

Having opened in the late 1870s, St Mary’s-at-the-walls also eventually closed its doors in 1930 after numbers declined and it lost the backing of the Education department.

youngsters are pictured here against the historic Roman walls from which it took its name.

* If any of these images have jogged your memory our you have photos of your own to share contact us on 01206 508186.