Burns was a senior policy officer at Shelter UK between 1991 and 1995.
She was then Head of Public Affairs and a board director at Fishburn Hedges between 2000 and 2010.
- MA, English Literature, University of Oxford 1984 – 1988
- Diploma, Political Science and Government, Birkbeck College, University of London 1993 – 1994
- Diploma, Script Development, National Film and Television School 2010 – 2011