James Aston MBE FCA
James is a partner and the National Head of Education at BDO LLP. He has worked extensively in the education sector over the last 25 years and works across both the public and private sectors.
James has been the external audit partner for 22 universities over the last 15 years and oversees BDO’s ongoing engagement with over 60 HEIs, the OfS and the DfE.
James has enjoyed a number of personal appointments by various Secretaries of State (investigations / national matters) and he regularly undertakes investigations and assignments on ‘spot issues’ throughout the education sector.
James is nationally renowned (and sought out by government, private equity and the sector) for his work on governance, data assurance and strategy. He understands the education sector, and its history, and is known for constructively challenging custom and practice and engaging with both government and the sector on developing and improving practices and resolving issues.
James was an independent member of HEFCE’s Audit Committee from 2003-2006 and the Teacher Training Agency’s Audit Committee from 2006-2009). He is currently serving a second term as a member of Ofsted’s Audit & Risk Committee.
He was honoured with an MBE for ‘services to education and charity management’ (2002 New Year’s Honours list).