Parliament returned this week, after the summer recess, to the latest argument doing the rounds. Ironically, as we go ‘back to school’, it is around 150 real schools across a national schools estate of some 22,500 schools that will not be going back. This is because, back in the 60s, 70s and 80s, they were built from the concrete equivalent of a Crunchie Bar.

For those affected, it is a big deal. These lightweight panels, that seem to resemble concrete planks, absorb water, that in turn rusts the steel reinforcing rod, which in turn swell to six times their size, and so fractures the concrete. The result is they collapse with the possible harm to children and teachers that might be underneath them.

And it may be wider than just schools. Court and prisons and being highlighted, but presumably these aerated concrete planks are widespread across the private sector too.

When one of the so called RAAC panels broke earlier this year, the government alerted all schools and local authorities to report back on the extent of the potential problem. That has taken more time than expected and so the final list of affected schools has not been completed.

So far, given that I have not been told of any schools affected in Wyre Forest, it looks as if we do not have an issue locally. I monitor the situation, of course.

But it’s an odd argument. As soon as the problem was identified, the Department for Education got onto it. After all, who wouldn’t react quickly when safety is an issue. But it seems that some local authorities and some schools did not read the alert when it came out, or didn’t act quickly.

Furthermore, the Treasury has guaranteed to paid for remedial work and associated costs.

As a general rule, buildings need maintenance. Most modern buildings are expected to last 50 years. And innovation in building materials sometimes prove to be wrong headed – just look at asbestos!

Here in Wyre Forest, we our schools have benefited from central funding for improvement. Wolverley High is seeing over £6 million invested into its buildings, whilst Baxter College has just received a grant. That’s not to say that I am happy with the state of our schools locally. I’ve seen some astonishingly daft maintenance work on some. But overall, this is a problem that has been identified and is being resolved.