Shailen Popat

I am a student of education who has returned to academia after 13 years as a practitioner, local authority manager, and entrepreneur.

I split my time between being West Oxfordshire Service Manager for homelessness charity St Mungos and being a DPhil Student.  In the past I have founded a social enterprise and worked in school support services for Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire County Councils.  I use alternative curricula and pedagogies to create innovative courses with cutting-edge assessment processes to deliver fun, self-development activities for children and young people.

I currently work as a Research Assistant in the Oxford University Centre for Education Assessment (OUCEA).

I am reading for a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education at the University of Oxford, in which I have the privilege to be one of the first researchers to examine the interpretation and enactment of the new Key Stage 2 Assessment Arrangements in primary schools in England.  I have analysed the policy and extracted the intentions behind it, and will collect data to glean how it has been interpreted by school leaders and class teachers, and how they have enacted that interpretation.  This project builds upon work that I undertook during my MA Distinction in Educational Innovation at the University of Warwick.

After my BA (Hons), I worked for Oxfordshire County Council as a Connexions Specialist Personal Advisor where I was tasked with re-engaging NEETs through imaginative person-centred approaches.  This was followed by a stint as Diversity Team Leader for Oxfordshire County Council Children and Youth Service where I held a county-wide brief for projects relating to ethnic minorities.  My next role was as Senior Practitioner for Warwickshire County Council for the town of Rugby where I managed services in the urban area together with two community centres, and also acted a Educational Visits Coordinator.  My last employed role was as Northamptonshire County Council Youth Service Team Leader for South Northamptonshire.

In 2011, I founded a social enterprise called RealiZe Youth Services which formed innovative partnerships with parish, borough, and county councils, the police, schools and community groups to create services for children and young people in areas where there were no services.  It was a registered ASDAN Centre and I created innovative courses with cutting-edge assessment processes to deliver fun, self-development activities   often with online platforms and face-to-face sports, art and drama. I was a Finalist at the Northamptonshire Education Awards 2015, and also at the Pride of Northamptonshire Awards 2015.

I am an experienced trainer, facilitator and presenter and currently consult with the European Learning Network.


Thesis title

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels?

Dr Velda Elliott and Dr Therese Hopfenbeck

Research interests

  • assessment
  • education policy
  • philosophy of education
  • informal education
  • special educational needs
  • student motivation for learning


I am an experienced speaker and organise regular events at the University with panel members from diverse backgrounds on a variety of philosophical, theological and educative themes.

Topics covered in 2017:
Community Cohesion
Solitude, Aloneness and Loneliness
Conscience, Rules, Pragmatism
How do Education Leaders develop their morality within a neoliberal system?

This is my Academia page


PIRLS for Teachers A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results


(Shailen Popat, Oxford; Mr Wahyudin, Minister Counsel; Prof Aziz, Education Attache, H.E. Dr Rizal Sukma, Indonesian Ambassador) Sister Jayanti, Brahma Kumaris; Dr Hopfenbeck, Oxford; Sister Vivien, Brahma Kumaris)


College affiliation

  • Brasenose College


  • Research Assistant & Student

Subject area

  • D.Phil
  • Primary School Assessment

Research groups

  • Educational Assessment