Emma Pattison, the headteacher at Epsom College who was discovered dead with her husband and daughter yesterday, had joined the private school in 2022 after six years as head at Croydon High School in Selsdon.
Pattison, 45, her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, 7, were found dead in a property in the grounds of Epsom College in the early hours of Sunday.
In a statement last night, Surrey Police said they were confident there was “no third-party involvement”.
Pattison became Epsom’s first woman head only five months ago.
Croydon High girls’ school issued a brief statement on social media which said, “The whole of the Croydon High community are immensely shocked and saddened by the news about our former Head, Emma Pattison, her daughter Lettie who was a pupil at our Junior School and her husband George.
“Emma was a hugely respected and much loved Head of Croydon High.
“She was a warm energetic compassionate leader, dedicated teacher and generous, insightful colleague and friend. Our deepest condolences are with her family and close friends and all at Epsom College.”
A parent of a pupil at Croydon High this morning described Pattison to BBC London, “She did so many things that enriched the children’s lives.
“She was slight but very formidable, she knew all of the pupils by name. She was exactly what you would want from a head teacher.”
The chair of the board of governors at Epsom College described Pattison as “a wonderful teacher, but most of all, a delightful person”.
Dr Alastair Wells said: “On behalf of everyone at Epsom College, I want to convey our utter shock and disbelief at this tragic news.
“Our immediate thoughts and condolences are with Emma’s family, friends and loved ones, and to the many pupils and colleagues whose lives she enriched throughout her distinguished career.”
Epsom College, which charges £42,000 per year for boarding pupils, was named as Independent School of the Year 2022 last October.
Paul Williams has been announced as Epsom College’s acting headteacher.
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This is really sad news and traumatising for pupils at both the schools.
Mrs. Pattison’s appointment at Epsom College was a high career accolade.
At Croydon High Mrs Pattison is remembered for her headship that school greatly boosted school numbers intake in a competitive local market for girls’ private education, encouraged bursaries for those parents and guardians on lower incomes and raised staff and student aspirations.
She also promoted girls STEM subject participation and introduced Enterprise Technology as a new subject. She also started a Scholars’ Programme as part of fostering higher ambitions for the students.