A TEENAGER is heartbroken after being denied a 100 per cent school attendance record because she had one day off in five years ­– to go to her nan’s funeral.

Sophie Runnells, 16, from Rayne, goes to Notley High School in Braintree.

She set her heart on a 100 per cent attendance record recognising she hasn’t had a day off in the five years she has been there.

But now the school is refusing to give the Year 11 pupil a certificate because she missed one day for her grandmother’s funeral.

Dad Wayne said: “The school knew about the funeral and said there is nothing you can do – you have to have the day off.

“But they kept saying she would be able to have 100 per cent attendance.”

Wayne claims Sophie, who suffers from dyslexia, had previously been bullied at school but was still determined not to miss a day.

“Even when she has been really ill, she has been at school,” he said.

“To most people it doesn’t seem much, but to her it’s everything.

“It’s not what she would get out of it – it is so that she can get the certificate and put it on her CV.

“It’s an achievement in itself and she wanted the recognition.”

Sophie is currently sitting her mock GCSEs but still finds time to be a school prefect and help organise a ski trip.

Her dad said: “Most of the teachers agree with us.

“It’s just the headmaster that is saying no – he just won’t have any of it.”

But headteacher David Conway defended the decision.

He said: “I would like to reiterate that certificates are awarded to students with 100 per cent attendance.

“The criteria are really clear and we do not give students this award if they do not have a record of 100 per cent attendance.

“I would point out that those schools that do award this achievement also usually have this strict criteria.”