Our Expertise

We are the UK's most progressive further education and skills specialist, dedicated to offering expert insight, collaboration and guidance from an unrivalled network of sector-leading experts.  Established in 2005, FE Associates offer specialist sector intelligence, spreading the entire breadth of further education and skills, combined with a track record of specialist recruitment experience.

Our unique approach to offering high-quality and cost-effective solutions through the highly skilled experts we deploy sees us rolling our sleeves up and working alongside governors, leaders and managers to make change and improvement happen in the most effective way.  We are practitioners who are deeply embedded in the further education and skills sector and are able to support you as your trusted advisors.

We respond to the needs of our clients through organising our business across five divisions:

Executive search and recruitment

Interim leadership and management solutions

Leadership Development

Quality Improvement

Strategic consultancy and project management

Our Leadership Team

Matt Atkinson

Matt Atkinson
Managing Director

Matt Atkinson joined FE Associates in August 2016 and is responsible for the strategic leadership, growth and development of the business. As a former successful college CEO and Principal and a highly experienced sector leader, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the sector and the support needed for colleges to succeed. He is highly focused on the needs of clients and on ensuring that the FEA portfolio of products and services evolves in line with sector needs.


Lee Rudge

Dan Beale
Director of Partnerships

Dan Beale joined FE Associates in January 2024 and leads on key strategic partnerships and business development for the organisation. Dan brings his wealth of senior FE and skills leadership to the senior team to develop solutions that meet the needs of our diverse client base. Before joining the team, Dan was an HMI with Ofsted, and prior to this, he held the role of Vice Principal in a large further education college in the South East.

Lee Rudge

Lee Rudge
Finance Director

Lee has worked at FE Associates and its predecessor organisations since 2004. With an excellent understanding of the needs of the further education and skills sector, Lee is responsible for ensuring the organisation meets its objectives, provides cost effective solutions and responds to internal and external demands.

Matt Atkinson

Jo Johnston
Director of Recruitment

Jo joined FE Associates in 2019 and is responsible for delivering expert leadership recruitment solutions across the FE Associates client base. Since joining FE Associates Jo has placed numerous senior leaders in leading sector roles and has made a significant contribution to the development of our market-leading services. With a focus on client satisfaction and candidate well-being, Jo has proved herself to be one of the FE sector’s leading recruitment practitioners.

As an expert leadership recruiter who has worked across both the public and private sectors, Jo has worked within further education leadership recruitment since 2009 and, over that time, has built outstanding client relationships and first-class candidate networks.

Judith Richardson

Judith Richardson
Operations Director

Judith has served in leadership roles with FE Associates since 2008. Co-ordinating our operations and services to clients, Judith is well respected and well-known to colleges up and down the country. Judith is responsible for maintaining contact with our clients and consultants and ensures the smooth operation of our Head Office function in Bristol.

My experience of working for FEA has been nothing but an excellent experience. They have provided me with unique opportunities that I would not have found anywhere else. FEA don’t just fill a gap, they have impact and it’s an honour to be part of the team.

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