Nottingham headteacher ‘heartbroken’ after friend Emma Pattison found dead on Epsom College grounds

A Nottingham headteacher says she is ‘heartbroken’ after her friend and colleague Emma Pattison was found dead in a property on the grounds of Epsom College. Surrey Police says that Ms Pattison, 45, was found dead along with her husband George, 39, and daughter Lettie, seven, in the early hours of Sunday (January 5).

Emma Pattison was the Head of Epsom College, a private school based in Surrey. But up until September last year, Ms Pattison had been the head of Croydon High School.

Croydon High School is run by the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), of which the Nottingham Girls’ High School is also a part. Julie Keller, the Head of Nottingham Girls’ High School, has now paid tribute to her friend and colleague Emma Pattison.

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In a tweet posted on Monday (January 6), Julie Keller said: “Heartbroken. My life was richer for having had Emma as a friend and colleague, the world is certainly poorer for her loss. Sending my love to her family and both Epsom College and Croydon High School at this most awful time.”

Cheryl Giovannoni, the chief executive of the GDST, added: “We are immensely shocked and saddened by the news about the death of Emma Pattison, her daughter Lettie and her husband George. Our thoughts are with their family at this time, as well as everyone at Croydon High School, and Epsom College, which Emma joined as head in September 2022.

“Emma was a much loved and respected member of the GDST community, as well as a talented head and teacher and a dear friend to many of us. She touched the lives of all of us with her energy, wisdom and kindness during her six years as head of Croydon High School and the school will always bear the legacy of her inspiring leadership.”

Surrey Police has not disclosed the cause of the deaths but says it is confident that no-one else was involved. Police officers remained at the scene on Monday morning.

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.”

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.”


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