Following my PhD in 1991 from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bristol, I worked for an NGO in the field of community health development, working with a range of individuals, community groups and professionals from across the statutory, community and voluntary health-related sectors.
I returned to academia in 1998 to manage the Health and Social Care Research Partnership at the University of Bath, where I facilitated a range of interdisciplinary research activities working across five of the university’s R&D units. From 2005 to 2011, I worked for the Department of Children and Families at Wiltshire Council, supporting school-led, multi-agency collaborations and latterly developing school-community collaborations in areas with high levels of military families.
I joined the Institute for Education at Bath Spa University as a Research Fellow in June 2011 and was appointed Research Team Leader in 2018.
I am currently supervising a PhD student who is researching the wellbeing of Army children in the pre-school year.
A four-month project (from April 2019) funded by the National Association of Virtual School Heads, to generate evidence and insights into how Pupil Premium Plus is deployed, used and evidenced to improve educational outcomes for Looked After Children.
Schools in England receive Pupil Premium Plus to fund initiatives that aim to close the gap in educational outcomes between Looked After Children and their peers. Every Local Authority appoints a Virtual School Head who is charged with promoting the educational achievement of all the children looked after within the Local Authority. Virtual School Heads are responsible for Pupil Premium Plus, controlling an estimated budget of £132,000,000.
- A one-year pilot project, completed in December 2017, involving a collaboration between the Institute for Education and GL-Assessment. The project assessed the potential of the online attitudinal survey, P.A.S.S. (Pupil Attitudes to Self and School) to support improvements in undergraduate experiences, particularly during the transition phase for first year undergraduates. The project assessed the usefulness of PASS for teaching, learning and student support. A copy of the report is available upon request.
- A two-year research project, completed in November 2016 - funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, Help for Heroes and the Access Validating Agency, Ascentis – to understand the journey to and through 'Access to H.E. Diplomas' for adults with a service background. The report contains recommendations for civilian and military stakeholder organisations to consider, to minimise the risk of AHED students being disadvantaged by their Service background.
- Evaluation of the Total Somerset High Contact Families Pilot Project, sponsored by the Somerset Children's Trust; a multi-agency initiative exploring how agencies working with families in difficulty can work more effectively with reducing levels of resource.
- A scoping literature review on primary-aged children’s participation activities that influence adult decision-making.
- PhD - University of Bristol
- Research Masters (Education) - University of Bath
- BSc (Hons) - Bristol Polytechnic
- Member - British Educational Research Association (BERA)
Other external roles
- Board member - Theatre Royal Bath
- Veterans' Mental Health Conference (2018), King’s College London.
Invited to present a poster entitled: ‘Access to Higher Education Diplomas: Supporting transitions from a military to civilian mind-set’
- British Educational Research Association (2017), University of Brighton.
Presentation entitled: ‘Negotiating the journey to and through Access to HE Diplomas: Experiences of adults with a Service background’.
- Forum for Access and Continuing Education (2017), Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Presentation entitled: ‘The journey to and through Access to H.E. Diplomas: Experiences of adults with a Service background’.
- Army Families Federation Research Symposium (2017), London.
Poster entitled: ‘A non-traditional route to university for adults with a Service background: The journey to and through ‘Access to Higher Education Diplomas’.
Research areas of interest
- Widening participation in Higher Education
- Student transitions
- Students with a service background
- Performing arts and education
Research and academic outputs
Impact of ‘transition blind spots’ on Access to Higher Education Diploma students with a military background: why filling gaps in Information, Advice and Guidance matters
Macer, M (2018) 'Impact of ‘transition blind spots’ on Access to Higher Education Diploma students with a military background: why filling gaps in Information, Advice and Guidance matters.' Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 20 (4). pp. 169-190. ISSN 1466-6529
Primary-aged children’s participation activities that influence adult decision-making: a scoping literature review
Macer, M (2014) 'Primary-aged children’s participation activities that influence adult decision-making: a scoping literature review.' Educationalfutures, 6 (2). pp. 3-20. ISSN 1758-2199
Understanding the journey to and through 'Access to Higher Education Diplomas' for adults with a service background
Macer, M (2017) Understanding the journey to and through 'Access to Higher Education Diplomas' for adults with a service background. In: Forum for Access and Continuing Education (FACE) Conference, 27 - 30 June 2017, Glasgow, UK.
Understanding the journey to and through 'Access to Higher Education Diplomas' for adults with a Service background. Occasional Paper No.2 from the IfE
Macer, M (2016) Understanding the journey to and through 'Access to Higher Education Diplomas' for adults with a Service background. Occasional Paper No.2 from the IfE. Institute for Education, Bath Spa University, Bath. ISBN 9780992633882
Macer, M, Parker, R, Davies, D and Rose, J (2011) Total Somerset High Contact Families Project: evaluation report.