Profile: Who was Emma Pattinson, the Epsom College headteacher found dead?

 (John Wildgoose)
(John Wildgoose)

Pupils and staff at a prestigious private school in Surrey have been rocked by the news that their headteacher had been found dead with her husband and young daughter.

Emma Pattinson, 45, and her husband George, 39, were found alongside seven-year-old Lettie at the £42,000 per year Epsom College, Epsom, early on Sunday morning.

Police are investigating the circumstances of the deaths but that no one else was involved.

Who was Emma Pattinson?

Emma Patinson was found dead on Sunday
Emma Patinson was found dead on Sunday

Described as a “wonderful teacher” and a “delightful person” who had a “distinguished career”, Ms Pattinson was appointed head of Epsom in September last year.

She had previously been headteacher at Croydon High School in south London, where she worked for six years.

Prior to working in Croydon, Ms Pattinson was the deputy head at St John’s School in Leatherhead, an independent school also in Surrey.

According to its website, Epsom, founded in 1851, is the current Independent School of the Year.

When she was given the job last year, Ms Pattinson became Epsom’s 14th-ever headteacher and the first woman to hold the role.

“I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed head of Epsom College,” Ms Pattinson said in January 2022.

“It is a school I have long admired, with an enviable reputation, and George and I can’t wait to meet the pupils, parents and staff and to become part of this wonderful community.

Her husband George was a chartered accountant who was listed on Companies House as being the director of a management consultancy firm called Tanglewood 2016.

Schools such as Epsom College offer boarding as well as day study (Alamy)
Schools such as Epsom College offer boarding as well as day study (Alamy)

What has the school said?

In a statement, Epsom College said: "It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we have to announce the news of the deaths of Emma Pattison, head of Epsom College, her daughter Lettie, and her husband George.

"Our thoughts, condolences and sympathies are with their families at this tragic time."

What have the police said?

Surrey Police said they were treating the deaths as an “isolated incident” and were not seeking a third party in connection to the incident.

In a statement last night a spokesperson for the force explained how the discovery was made.

“In the early hours of this [Sun] morning, Surrey Police was contacted by the South East Coast Ambulance Service to attend a property in the grounds of Epsom College.

“Officers attended at around 01:10am where they, sadly, found the bodies of three people, including a child.

“We can confirm that the bodies found were Emma Pattison aged 45 years, head of Epsom College, her daughter Lettie, aged seven years and her husband George aged 39 years.

“The family’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

“An investigation is being carried out to establish the circumstances of their deaths. At this stage, police are confident that this is an isolated incident with no third-party involvement.”