“Because we didn’t recognise the gentleman, we asked other parents and they didn’t recognise him either, so we just followed our stranger awareness procedure,” said Mrs Kemp.

They informed both the police and Warwickshire County Council, who alerted other schools in the area. Parents were then told about the man.

However, the man’s son-in-law rang both the school and the Herald to explain who he was after seeing the description.

He said: “Our daughter, his granddaughter, went to that school, and it was all completely innocent. He’s very embarrassed about it.”

The man was there to pick up his grandchild, but sparked suspicion when he arrived half-an-hour too early, didn’t tell anyone who he was, and left before picking her up.

The son-in-law said: “He’d never been to Ilmington before, he roughly knew the village but he had never wandered around and didn’t know where the school was.

“He eventually found the school and because he was too early he came back. He was just there to get his granddaughter.”

Although the grandfather was “absolutely horrified” that he had sparked such a response, Mrs Kemp is glad the system works.

“We just followed protocol and we are pleased that the procedure worked, and how everybody worked so quickly,” she said. “It shows how aware we are of anyone that comes to our school.”

The response also reassured the girl’s father. “It’s a really good thing that they’re doing that,” he said.

Mrs Kemp now hopes the incident will encourage people to think more carefully about how they act around schools.

A Warwickshire County Council spokesperson confirmed:  “Whenever schools report any suspicious incidents, we look at the situation to see if we need to inform other schools in the area.”