• Matt Palmer


International Director, Matt Palmer, celebrates the launch of our new website, reflecting on the importance of education and what’s in store for CES moving forward.

Welcome to the brand new CES website, thank you for spending time visiting us and hopefully learning a little more about what we do.

As the son of two teachers and the father of three teenage learners, education has always taken a central role in my life. The first picture is of my late father, part of a renowned group of Nottingham University Chemistry lecturers who sought to inspire children’s interest in science by blowing things up! The second picture is of my daughter proving that, despite a 70-year age gap, he succeeded!

Over time, I have become a huge advocate of the real and meaningful difference a great education system makes in all our lives. Never before has this been brought into sharper focus than during the global pandemic, where schools and the organisations that support them have strived to make children’s continued education an absolute priority. Innovative thinking, endless commitment and sheer flexibility have never been so apparent.

I’m always inspired by the work that schools do, not only in the United Kingdom where I live, but also in the 100 countries that are home to our customers. Having worked in the education industry for many years, I am delighted and proud to be leading CES Holdings as International Director. We are a well-regarded business, founded some 40 years ago, and the very first company of its kind to be singularly focused on the development and supply of resources to international schools.

Over the last few decades, as the global demand to be taught in the English language has soared, our business has evolved dramatically. There has been huge growth in our ability to supply a diverse and extensive range of resources to international schools. We call ourselves the ‘export experts’ because of our unique capacity to seamlessly move resources in and out of the UK, delivering to several continents without risk or high expense for our customers.

Our myriad of suppliers represent the most admired brands in the hugely imaginative and innovative UK educational resources market, as well as a growing number of overseas specialists. We offer International schools a range of over a million products, housing every required school resource under one roof. For many of our suppliers we act as a gateway through which they can develop a strong international presence and augment their domestic market position. We vet our suppliers carefully, assuring our customers that the resources we supply safeguard learners and support the delivery of a UK or similarly matched curriculum.

The launch of our new website presents the first exciting step on an much larger journey for everyone at CES. In early 2020, our business became part of Kent County Council’s Commercial Services organisation. This acquisition provides numerous structural advantages which are highly beneficial to our customers and supply partners. We are now part of a multibillion pound supply organisation, with the ability to procure resources far more effectively and sustainably. Our expansion across multiple sites in the UK has further developed our already extensive logistics and stock management capabilities.

Importantly, we are now on a firm pathway to becoming a digital-first organisation, where our practitioners and teaching stakeholders can browse and select products online. Our resources range will also see a digital makeover, with many of our supply partners actively working with us to bring digital products, services and CPD material live on site in the coming months. Finally, for the administrative teams that continue to make our schools ‘tick’ ever more efficiently, we will provide time-saving solutions by moving ordering, approval and self-service mechanisms online. Becoming a truly digital organisation is a journey, and this new website is but the first step. Please keep in touch, tell us how we are doing and let us have suggestions as to how we can improve.

There are a few things that will remain purposely untouched. Our ever-friendly team of over 60 export experts are on hand to impart their vast knowledge and provide a highly personalised service to meet the needs of international schools. Secondly, our logo will continue to carry the words ‘gateway to learning’. We remain, at our core, the gateway for brilliant teachers and their support teams to find the great products they need to make a real difference to hundreds of thousands of young people. At the end of the day, this remains our true mission.

Thanks for taking a look! If you have any comments at all please do contact me through LinkedIn or via email

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