Epsom College release statement after tragic death of headteacher Emma Pattison with her daughter, 7, and husband | The Sun

GRIEVING pupils and staff at Epsom College will "come together" today to process the loss of their headteacher.

Emma Pattison was found dead on the school grounds alongside her husband George, 39, and seven-year-old daughter Lettie in the early hours of Sunday.

Police said the tragedy is understood to be an "isolated incident" with no third-party involvement.

A school spokesperson said: "The college community will be coming together today to process the news, grieve and pay our respects to a wonderful Head.

"At this time there is nothing more that we can say regarding the circumstances around Mrs Pattison and her family's death beyond the statement issued by the police.

"The college and Surrey Police will be in close contact over the coming weeks and months.


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"We hope everyone will respect the privacy of Emma's family at this time and allow the College's pupils, staff and wider community the time and space necessary to come to terms with this loss."

In an email to parents, the school's chair said that chapel services would be held throughout the morning and counselling would be made available to students.

Dr Alastair Wells added: "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."

Teens joined the busy school-run traffic as normal this morning while teachers marshalled them through the gates for their first day back since Emma's death.

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Many turned to peer out of car windows as they drove past the cordoned off area where she lived.

A staff member told The Sun: "Today will be difficult for everyone."

Cops were called to the elite school at 1.10am on February 5 where they discovered the bodies of Emma, George and Lettie.

The family's next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers while an investigation is under way to establish the circumstances of their deaths.

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, and hope to be able to bring some peace in these traumatic circumstances."

Inspector Jon Vale, Epsom and Ewell's borough commander, added: "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.


Emma was appointed the first female headteacher of the £42,000-a-year school five months ago.

She shared in December that it had been a large transition, involving two new jobs, a new house, a new school and a new puppy.

Emma told sixth form students on the school podcast Epsom Insight: "It has been a really big change for my family. 

"We've obviously moved house, we've bought a dog, I've got a new job, my husband's got a new job which wasn't meant to happen but did, and my daughter has started a new school.

"There has been a lot of change for us as a family, but it has been wonderful."

The "gorgeous" pup, a Labrador called Bella, joined the family days before the episode was recorded.

Emma, who is described as a "wonderful teacher" and a "delightful" person, recalled how Bella "barked all night" and apologised to her neighbours.

In a statement late on Sunday evening, Epsom College, which was named independent school of the year in 2022, asked for privacy as the school community grappled with the shocking news and the loss of its head.

"We must now focus on the welfare and wellbeing of our pupils and staff, and work to ensure that they receive all the comfort, warmth and support required from the Epsom College community," a spokesperson said.

"The news is heartbreaking and we need time and space to come together and process these shocking events."

Tributes have flooded in for the headmistress, who "enriched children's lives".

Mum Sheena, whose daughter attends Croydon High School where Emma used to work, told the BBC: "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."

Emma was a wonderful teacher, but most of all she was a delightful person.

Dr Alastair Wells, chairman 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."

And in an interview with School Management Plus last month, Emma was described as "fresh and forward-thinking, a far cry from traditional perceptions of aloof elitism in the independent sector".

She finished the chat by declaring: "It could be time to shape a really exciting future."

Emma became Epsom's first female head in September 2022 after six years as headteacher of Croydon High School in south London.

Boarding students at the college pay more than £42,000 a year and its alumni include Conservative MP Sir Michael Fallon, broadcaster Jeremy Vine and comedian Tim Vine.

Epsom College won the top prize at the Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2022, with judges calling it a "beacon of excellence".

The school was also named the winner of the Student Wellbeing Award at the October ceremony thanks to its "whole-school approach to mental health and the wellbeing of both its staff and pupils".

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More than 850 boys and girls attend the school, which was founded in 1853, and its acting head has been listed as Paul Williams.

Emma's husband George was a chartered accountant who was director of a management consultancy firm called Tanglewood 2016, according to Companies House.

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