Epsom College to close early after murder of head teacher Emma Pattison
Epsom College will close on Tuesday evening following the “incredibly distressing” details of the death of head teacher Emma Pattison, The Telegraph has learnt.
In a letter to parents, Paul Williams, the acting head, said it was time for families “to come together and try to process this shocking news.”
He wrote: “The shock and horror of the past few days have been unprecedented. The impact on your children cannot be underestimated and we are doing everything we can to support them in whatever way they need.
“On Monday, it was helpful to all come together as a community to receive and offer support. We have had a team of counsellors at the College available for all pupils and staff.
“In addition to that, of course, we have all been here for anyone who is struggling and needs additional support.
“However, the details that have emerged today are incredibly distressing and we feel it is best to close the College from this evening. Now is the time for families to come together and try to process this shocking news.”
Day pupils will leave school on Tuesday evening and will not be expected to return until after half term.
Weekly boarders are permitted to stay on Tuesday evening but should be collected by parents on Wednesday. Full boarders are able to stay until the scheduled start of the half term break on Friday, parents were told.
Mr Williams said parents should be “immensely proud” of how children have conducted themselves since the tragedy.
It came as it emerged that Mrs Pattison had made a distressed call to a relative before she was shot by her husband, according to a BBC report.
It is understood that she called a close relative hours before the shooting. The relative drove to the school and found the dead bodies.
Mr Pattison has not previously been reported to the police. However, The Telegraph has learnt that in 2016 he reported his wife to police for allegedly hitting him. He dropped the complaint, and there have since been no reports to the police.