James Aston, MBE, National Head of Education

Executive Summary

James is a Business Assurance Partner and Head of BDO's national education team. James has specialised in the education and charity sectors for over 25 years. He has an extensive breadth and depth of experience across education, from nursery schools to post graduate, both in the public and private sectors.

James is a Member of Ofsted’s Audit and Risk Committee and has previously been a member of HEFCE's Audit Committee and the Training & Development Agency’s Audit Committee. He is widely recognised as an expert in governance, funding and data and is an adviser to government departments and agencies across education.  

James has assisted OfS funded HEIs and other providers in a range of areas from university title applications, divestment (UWL/Reading College) and joint ventures and partnerships. James has delivered merger and acquisition due diligence across further education, training providers, private schools and higher education.

He is external audit partner to a number of HEIs as well as a number of national, and international, charities working in education. He has been involved in a number of complex advisory projects across all education sectors coordinating services ranging from forensic to data analytics and business restructuring to tax.

James was honoured with an MBE for 'Services to education and charity management' in 2002.