Estelle started her career in education as a teacher in an inner city multiracial comprehensive school where she taught for 18 years. In 1992, she entered Parliament, becoming the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in 2001. She followed this with 2 years as a Minister at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and left Parliament in 2005.
Since then, she has combined a career that includes senior posts both in education and the arts, as well as being a member of the House of Lords. She now works at the Institute of Effective Education which aims to transform the relationship between education research and practice so that policy making and teaching can become more evidence based.
She is a trustee of The National Poetry Archive and chairs the Council at Goldsmiths College, and is also a regular contributor to Guardian Education.