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SCEC was founded in 1989 by Helen Thomas, and was well regarded in Australia as the first school to receive government accreditation for a curriculum which included community integration and cultural activities as part of its teaching program.
The concepts for the school and the educational tours were initiated in the late 1980’s and began as short cultural exchange programs. These were made up of English lessons on “how to communicate with the host family” and fun activities such as surfing lessons, canoeing and horse riding. Each tour was personalised for the individual group.
The very first group to arrive in Noosa was made up of city councillors from Japan. This group’s arrival coincided with the worst flood Noosa had ever seen. The roads into Noosa were flooded and the hotel the group was booked into was under water. Nevertheless our mutual interest in education and international understanding (plus lots of laughs over dinner!) created long term friendships, and we all agreed that Noosa was the perfect location for program of that kind. The weather has been better ever since, too!
The College was originally intended to remain small with a maximum of 40 students. Marketed mainly by word of mouth, it rapidly expanded well beyond that number. By 1995 the College was fully accredited and students were coming from Thailand, Korea, and Indonesia as well as Japan. By 1999, the capacity and enrolment at the College was 100 full-time students, and students were welcomed from Europe, South America and throughout Asia.
With the retirement of Helen Thomas in 2004, Ian and Yasuko Pratt purchased shares in the school and integrated it into the Global Village English Centres group. They expanded into new locations, including Brisbane (2006), Byron Bay (2007), Sunshine Coast (2009) and Perth (2010).
In 2011, the company was rebranded as Lexis English, a new brand designed to highlight the unique Australian identity of the group.
In 2013, the first overseas school, Lexis Korea, will open, providing high quality English and Korean language classes in the heart of the Gangnam district of Seoul
Today, Lexis English each year welcomes more than 2000 adult students and around 700 junior students from more than 50 countries around the world, and is one of Australia's largest privately owned language schools.
We like to think that we've kept true to the original mission of SCEC, however - quality language programs in unique locations, and a place for people from all over the world to gather and learn.
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