History of the Isca School of English

Our Language School opened in Exeter in 1966. My grandparents and parents have welcomed many generations of students from all over the world. These are some of the highlights of our school.

Tomlinson family and first Isca School students in black and white

1966

Ronald and Margery Tomlinson founded the Isca School of English. Our students lived in and had lessons at the school. There were only two course books available!

group of international students in the late 70s in front of the Isca School with the Tomlinson Family and baby Sarah

1979

Richard Tomlinson became principal. Teenagers from all over Europe started to come for short summer courses.

group of students in 80s clothing lying with their feet up in a row enjoying the sunshine

1981

Recognized as “efficient” by the UK Government Department of Education and Science.

a group of international friends enjoying an English Cream tea

1986

The Isca School became one of the first British Council Accredited schools in the UK.

small group of English learners in a big classroom hugging with classroom displays on the walls

1990s

As Richard and his wife Jo’s family grew so too did the number of junior students coming to Isca for their summer English courses.

small group of young international leaders sitting on a wall looking fown at the camera with a blue sky behind them

2001

The Isca School of English becomes a specialist summer centre for junior students focused on teaching English to teenagers.

group of international students standing in the front garden with the Isca school of English in the back ground

2009

The EL Gazette names the Isca School a Centre of Excellence for the first time. We are still a Centre of Excellence today.

grandparents, parents and first grandson standing together in front of an Autumnal tree with beautiful red leaves

2016

Sarah Tomlinson becomes Principal.

Teachers and staff standing in the front garden of the Isca School of English

2017 -2020

The El Gazette names the Isca School of English the best family-run summer school in the UK.

Garden and side of the Isca School of English showing students arriving in the morning and them playing table tennis and talking together

2019

The Isca School is ranked 9th by the EL Gazette out of all Accredited English Language Schools in the UK (there are more than 500!)

Isca School of English viewed through red tulips in the front garden of the Isca School of English

Summer 2020

Covid-19 means we have to close our school for the only time since 1966. We are spending this time improving the school, looking for new excursions and activities and are looking forward to re-opening in 2021.

the wing tip of an aeroplane in the sky. Photo taken from inside of a plane

2021

Our English School re-opens – what are you waiting for? Come and join us!

It was the best time of my life, thank you!
Cecile, France
Thank you for everything! For me, Isca is more than a school it’s a second home. I met fantastic friends and I will never forget the amazing summer that I spent in Exeter. I hope that one day (like my mum) that my child can come to Isca
Sara S, Italy
Dear Mr. Tomlinson, We want just thank you and all your staff for the wonderful staying of Benedetto in Exeter. He came back enthusiastic for the school, for the friends he met there, for the activities you organised for them and especially for your availability with the students. He had fun to see you every morning with a different mug of tea at the entrance of the school! I hope Benedetto could come again next year to improve his English.
Mrs P, Italy