If you are worried that the LA will talk about progress (with top up funding) and this is real (can be evidenced) tell the panel that you are anxious that this progress continue beyond each academic year (we had years of year zero which essentially wasted the first term of each year as the new CT would always think that they could make the difference, had too little information or thought they could use their 'professional discretion' to not give support they didn't think was necessary). The only way to do this is to have full assessment (if they consented to top up without assessment) and detail provision (clearly more than the school can provide from its own resources) in a statutorily binding document (that any new CT or TA can familiarise themselves with) so that consistent support is delivered.
The top up funding should prove that the school can not meet needs from their own resources but my LA have introduced something they call school plus which gives banded top up funding to DC without a statement/ehcp and which they believe reduces the need to actually give statements.
Keep yes that is exactly what my LA has done with the funding. They have also issued what is called an EHCP but it is a non-statutory version. My argument is that without the statutory version the funding is not guaranteed and that actually she can't even attend school without it so any starting again is a disaster. I'm also concerned about post-16 as she will have to move school (current one has no 6th form) and LA's own documentation says they will only assess or support in exceptional circumstances if there is no pre-16 statement/statutory ECHP.
If they are dependent of top up funding surely this is not resources 'normally available to mainstream maintained schools in the area?' It is not delegated budget in the school's ASD account, it is extra funding specially applied for.
Sorry if you have long since sussed this argument, but in case someone is wanting to check what I am on about: Code of Practice (old law) says
7:50 Where the balance of evidence presented to, and assessed by, the LEA suggests that the child’s learning difficulties: ● have not responded to relevant and purposeful measures taken by the school or setting and external specialists and ● *may call for special educational provision which cannot reasonably be provided within the resources normally available to mainstream maintained schools and settings in the area,* the LEA should consider very carefully the case for a statutory assessment of the child’s special educational needs..
I'm not sure how it went we have to wait for the written judgement. Lay member articulated our main point that in effect the LA have issued a EHCP so why don't they make it statutory? Judge was much harder to read.