James Aston, MBE, National Head of Education

I lead BDO’s Education Group and have worked in the sector for over 30 years. I oversee our services, which range from external and internal audit to due diligence, forensic investigations and tax (and everything in between). My team has exceptional experience across regulatory compliance (OfS, ESFA and DfE), change of ownership, governance and management, and is often engaged on ‘difficult’ matters.

Our clients range from nursery groups to higher education Institutes, and charities to corporate.
I am a member of Ofsted’s Audit and Risk Committee and have previously been a member of both HEFCE's Audit Committee and the Training & Development Agency’s Audit Committee.

I am widely recognised as a sector expert (HE, FE, private providers, independent schools and academies) in governance, funding and data, and frequently act as an adviser to government departments and agencies across education. In 2002 I was honoured with an MBE for Services to education and charity management.