Georgie’s 20 years of making a difference to youngsters with severe difficulties

Catcote Futures teacher Georgie Jones (kneeling centre) with staff and students on her last day after 20 years.
Catcote Futures teacher Georgie Jones (kneeling centre) with staff and students on her last day after 20 years.

A Hartlepool teacher who has helped scores of young people with major difficulties to achieve their best has retired.

Georgie Jones has been a much-loved part of Catcote Academy and more recently Catcote Futures for 20 years.

Georgie with colleague Barry Currell who will take over her position at Catcote Futures.

Georgie with colleague Barry Currell who will take over her position at Catcote Futures.

Yesterday, she said a fond farewell to staff and students after retiring at the end of term.

She described her time with the school and college as “the best job ever”.

Georgie, 60, joined Catcote School in 1998 before moving to Catcote Futures, where students over 19 learn, ten years ago.

Both support young people and adults with severe learning difficulties and profound, multiple and complex needs.

Georgie, known to many former students by her maiden name Miss Drumm, said: “I will miss the students most, all the characters. They are absolutely amazing young people.

“We say it’s not what you can’t do it’s what they can do and that’s what we promote.”

She left with an armful of cards and presents from staff, parents and students past and present, as well as a host of treasured memories.

Georgie, who lives on the Headland, was previously in charge of Catcote Futures which has grown over the years and recently moved into new premises in Warren Road.

For the last two years she has overseen Catcote Futures lifelong learners who are aged over 25.

She added: “It’s a fantastic place to work. I have seen it grow and develop over the years.

“I’m so proud to have been part of that journey and actually had some influence and been able to put my own ideas forward and been allowed to develop them.

“I’m very grateful to our head Alan Chapman for the opportunities he has given me.

“I will miss everybody and wish them all the best.”

As well as over 70 cards and a new iPad, Georgie said she has “a sinkful of flowers”.

With her new free time she plans to travel around Europe but still plans to keep in close touch with everyone at Catcote Academy and Catcote Futures.

“I would like to continue supporting them,” she said. “I think it’s important.”

Georgie’s teaching career spanned 36 years.

She previously worked with extremely difficult children at a secure unit in Newton Aycliffe, and also excluded students in Hartlepool.

She added: “Out of all my jobs working for Catcote has been the best by far.”