The head of Epsom College has been found dead along with her husband and young daughter.
The bodies of headmistress Emma Pattison, 45, husband George, 39, and seven-year-old Lettie were discovered at a property on the grounds of the school in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Ms Pattison has been described as a “wonderful teacher” and a “delightful person” who had a “distinguished career”.
Epsom College is the current Independent School of the Year, according to its website.
Surrey Police were contacted by the South East Coast Ambulance Service and officers arrived at the location at around 1.10am.
A police investigation is being carried out to establish the circumstances of their deaths.
Officers have said they are confident that it was an isolated incident with no third-party involvement.
Dr Alastair Wells, chair of the college’s board of governors, 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.”
Emma Pattison joined the college last year
Ms Pattison became Epsom’s first female head in September 2022 after six years as headteacher of Croydon High School in south London
Epsom College was established in 1853 and granted royal approval in 1855
The college was named Independent School of the Year in October 2022
It offers day and boarding school education for girls and boys aged 11-18
A total of 1,098 pupils were enrolled at Epsom College, as of November 2022
Boarding students at the college pay more than £42,000 a year
The college lists its values as kindness, ambition and integrity on its website
Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey said: “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.”
Inspector Jon Vale, Epsom and Ewell’s borough commander, said: “We’re aware that this tragic incident will have caused concern and upset in the local community.
“While this is believed to be an isolated incident, in the coming days, our local officers will remain in the area to offer reassurance to students, parents, teachers, and the local community.”
The three deaths have been reported to the coroner.