Head of Epsom College found dead at school alongside daughter and husband
The head of Epsom College has been found dead at the school alongside her seven-year-old daughter and husband.
The bodies of college head Emma Pattison, 45, her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, were found in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Officers attended the boarding school in Surrey at around 01.10am.
Surrey Police said that an investigation is being carried out to establish the circumstances of their deaths. At this stage, police said they are “confident that this is an isolated incident with no third-party involvement”.
The family’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
'Utter shock and disbelief'
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.”
There is currently a significant police presence at the school, and the surrounding area, Surrey Police said.
Ms Pattison joined Epsom College as headteacher in September. She was previously head of Croydon High School in south London and deputy head of St John’s School Leatherhead.
The college announced her appointment by posting a photograph of the family on its website, and stated that they would live on the grounds in the Head's House.
Thorough investigation to take place
In an email from Dr Wells to parents at the school, he said that the College will come together tomorrow morning at the usual time.
It read: “Chapel services will take place throughout the morning; Housemasters, housemistresses and the head of lower school will be on hand to offer immediate support and comfort; and we will have additional counsellors on site for any member of the community - pupils and staff - who needs to talk, grieve or be supported.”
Epsom College is a prestigious boarding school where fees are up to £42,303 a year. It was named Independent School of the Year 2022 at an annual awards ceremony that celebrates the very best in education and student experience in UK independent schools.
Its alumni include Conservative MP Sir Michael Fallon, broadcaster Jeremy Vine and comedian Tim Vine.
More than 850 boys and girls attend the school, which was founded in 1853, and its acting head has been listed as Paul Williams.
Ms Pattison's husband George was a chartered accountant who was director of a management consultancy firm called Tanglewood 2016, according to Companies House.
Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey said: “On behalf of Surrey Police, my team, and I, I first want to express my sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Emma, Lettie and George, as well as to the students and staff of Epsom College, for their tragic loss.
“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. I would ask that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”
Inspector 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.