Former University of Buckingham vice-chancellor to take the helm at Epsom College after tragic death of head

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‘I am committed to ensuring that Emma’s legacy is honoured,’ says Sir Anthony Seldon

The University of Buckingham’s former vice-chancellor has been asked to step in as head of Epsom College, following the tragic death of headteacher Emma Pattison.

Sir Anthony Seldon has agreed to take up the role from March 1 until September 2024 and has pledged to honour Emma Pattison’s legacy.

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Mrs Pattison, aged 45, was found dead along with her husband and daughter in a property in the grounds of the private school two weeks ago. Her family fully support Sir Anthony’s appointment.

Sir Anthony SeldonSir Anthony Seldon
Sir Anthony Seldon

Prior to his term as vice-chancellor of Buckingham, Sir Anthony was a headteacher for 20 years at Brighton College and then Wellington College.

Sir Anthony said: “I am committed to ensuring that Emma’s legacy is honoured and that Epsom College moves forward in the manner she intended. This is what Emma would have wanted for all the pupils and staff she had worked with, supported, and for whom she had such high hopes.

"Emma was driven, ambitious and courageous – there is no better way to respect her memory than for Epsom College to forge ahead and embody the values that guided her life.”

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Commenting on Sir Anthony’s appointment, president of Epsom College, Lord Alex Carlile, said: “Clearly, we wish this appointment had never been necessary. Emma was a wonderful person, an educator of distinction and someone who was set to take the College on an exciting journey. That her time was so cruelly cut short is devastating to all that knew her, and all those who were yet to know her but would have benefitted immeasurably from her talents.

“In these circumstances, I can think of no one better to lead the college than Sir Anthony. I am confident that his strong vision, leadership and experience, with the stellar support of the Senior Leadership Team that earned Epsom the title of Independent School of the Year, is the very finest way to honour Emma Pattison’s legacy.”

Epsom College was voted Independent School of the Year in October 2022. A new permanent head will be in place from September 2024.