Former colleagues of an ex Croydon High School headteacher who was found dead in a college property along her husband and daughter have paid tribute to their “dear friend”.

Emma Pattison, who was head at Croydon High School before she joined Epsom College in September last year, died on Sunday (February 5) with her daughter Lettie, seven, and her husband George.

Mrs Pattison, 45, was found with her husband and daughter at their home in the grounds of independent school Epsom College in the early hours of Sunday.

Surrey Police have not disclosed the cause of their deaths, but said they are confident that no-one else was involved.

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

Cheryl Giovannoni, chief executive of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), of which Croydon High School is part, said: “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.

“We are taking time to support staff and students at Croydon High School as well as everyone in the GDST family, and their wellbeing will be our priority in the coming days.”

Police said the family’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers, and that the three deaths have been reported to the coroner.

Surrey police and crime commissioner Lisa Townsend said there will be an increased police presence in the area in the coming days to provide reassurance.

She added: “I was shocked and saddened to learn of the awful incident at Epsom College at the weekend and I want to offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those who lost their lives.

“These events will no doubt have a profound and lasting impact on both the staff and students at the college and the wider local community. My heart goes out to all those affected by this terrible and tragic incident.”

A statement from HMC (The Heads’ Conference), which represents hundreds of leading private schools across the UK, said: “Everyone at HMC is devastated to hear of the awful news from Epsom College that we have lost Emma Pattison and her family.

“Our thoughts and prayers at this time are for Emma’s family and close friends as well as the Epsom College, Croydon High School and St John’s Leatherhead communities.”