Croydon High pupils create floral tribute to former Head

Pupils, staff and parents at Croydon High in Selsdon have created an extended floral tribute at the school gates to Emma Pattison, the school’s former head teacher.

Tribute: one of the hundreds of bunches of flowers and messages left at Croydon High’s school gates

Pattison was head at Croydon High from 2016 until 2022, when she left to take up a post as the first woman headteacher at Epsom College.

Pattison, her husband George and seven-year-old daughter Lettie – a former pupil at Croydon High’s junior school – were found dead in their home in the grounds of Epsom College in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Surrey Police have said that they believe that George Pattison shot his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself.

Emma Pattison is understood to have called a relative some time late on Saturday evening, in some distress. By the time the family member arrived, all three were dead.

Epsom College announced on Tuesday it would remain closed until after next week’s half-term break, after “incredibly distressing” details emerged. “Now is a time for families to come together and try and process this shocking news,” Paul Williams, the acting headteacher, wrote in a letter to parents and carers.

Tragedy: the police believe that Emma Pattison, and daughter Lottie were shot by her husband, George

The tributes at Croydon High continued to be placed on the lawn at the foot of the wall outside the school gates this morning.

One tribute said of Pattison, “Your character and talents will inspire others for many years.”

Sanderstead councillor Helen Redfern wrote on social media, “Emma Pattison was a beautiful, inspiring, caring woman who positively touched the lives of so many family, friends, colleagues, pupils and parents.”

Andrew Pelling, the former MP who has had three daughters attend Croydon High, told Inside Croydon, “This is really sad news and traumatising for pupils at Croydon High as well as at Epsom College.

“Mrs Pattison’s appointment at Epsom was a high career accolade.

“At Croydon High, Mrs Pattison is remembered for her headship that greatly boosted school intake, encouraged bursaries for those families on lower incomes, and which raised staff and student aspirations.

“During her time at the school, she promoted girls’ participation in STEM – science, technology, engineering and Maths – and introduced Enterprise Technology as a new subject. She was hugely respected and liked.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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