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Abstract The Arts Council run Chrisi Bailey Award for young people's photography in schools is now entering it fifteenth year. The spirit of the award remains that of Chrisi Bailey's own view of photography as, an active medium of participation, through which the child can make discoveries, record and communicate about themselves and the world around them. This paper uses the work of the Chrisi Bailey Award as a kind of historical record, an archive, which can now be looked at in terms of changes in photography, representation and education. It asks three related questions. What view of creative, educational practice is present in the school projects? What view of representation is encoded in the selected images? What view of photography and its technologies are embedded in the children's practices? Through answering these questions the paper attempts to chart continuities and changes in our understanding of the cultural politics of self-representation and the effects of digital technologies upon photographic practice. The paper reflects upon the tradition of photography in education and attempts to update its agendas.