The headteacher of a prestigious private school in Surrey has been found dead alongside her husband and daughter.
Emma Pattison, the head of Epsom College, was found at the school along with her husband, George, 39, and seven-year-old Lettie on Sunday morning.
The 45-year-old had only joined the school this academic year in September. She had previously been head at Croydon High school for six years. Epsom College was awarded “Independent School of the Year” in October 2022.
An investigation is under way, but Surrey police said that they believed it was an isolated incident and that there is no third-party involvement. They were called to the £42,000-a-year school at 1am on Sunday.
Dr Alastair Wells, chair of the board of governors at Epsom College, 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.
“Emma was a wonderful teacher, but most of all she was a delightful person. In time we will commemorate Emma and her family, in the appropriate way, and in line with the wishes of her family.
“But for now, we ask that we are all given the time, space and respect we need to come to terms with this tragic loss.”
An email to parents from Dr Wells said that counsellors would be available to staff and students for support.
Over 850 boys and girls attend the school, which was founded in 1853. Former students include MP Sir Michael Fallon, broadcaster Jeremy Vine and comedian Tim Vine.
Pattison’s husband, George, was a chartered accountant who was director of a management consultancy firm called Tanglewood 2016, according to Companies House.
Surrey police’s Det Ch Ins Kimball Edey said: “I want to give my assurance that we will conduct a thorough investigation into what took place last night and hope to be able to bring some peace in these traumatic circumstances.”
Insp Jon Vale, Epsom and Ewell’s borough commander, said: “We’re aware that this tragic incident will have caused concern and upset in the local community.
“While this is believed to be an isolated incident, in the coming days, our local officers will remain in the area to offer reassurance to students, parents, teachers, and the local community. I would like to thank the school and the community for their understanding and patience while the investigation continues.”
The three deaths have been reported to the coroner.