“There’s an awful lot of hand waving going around, however,” Prof Black warned.
“It will tell you whether there’s no risk of corrosion, roughly 50 per cent risk or 90 per cent risk – but it’s not an exact science and it is not a straightforward job. Even if your rebar was corroded, it then depends on the nature of the concrete around it, for example.”
However, if a plank has been found and known to be in poor shape then it is possible to repair and replace them.
Prof Black added: “These materials are lightweight, it’s not like going in and changing a reinforced concrete beam. It is something that can be done. They can be demounted, taken down and replaced.”
The reason this issue has not been addressed before, he believes, is a matter of cost.
“If the money for this comes out of an operating budget and there are demands elsewhere, at what point do schools, hospitals and other public buildings say they actually need additional support?
“Because if they do not have the capital investment and it all comes from the same budget then schools may have to choose between replacing roof panels or getting a classroom assistant.”
What is the Government saying?
Mr Gibb has said he expected affected schools to be made safe or for alternative accommodation to be found quickly, with lessons only likely to be disrupted for a handful of days.
Ms Keegan said that children’s safety was the “absolute priority” and that the “vast majority” of schools would be unaffected.
Who is paying for the schools affected by Raac?
Rishi Sunak also said that there will be “extra money” for schools, but failed to say whether it could come from the Treasury or Department for Education.
“The Chancellor has been crystal clear that schools will be given extra money for these mitigations. It won’t come from their existing school budgets,” the Prime Minister said.