The 2017 House Debating Competition proved very controversial this year with the judges’ decisions being debated as fiercely as the motions. Clearly the quality of debate at Lancing remains very strong, leading to some difficult decisions at the end of the evening. All of the Houses took part with topics as diverse as privatising the NHS, allowing parents to choose the gender of their children, and banning political opinion polls. The debaters impressed the judges with their feistiness, cunning and reasoned argument, and the perceptive comments and questions from the floor were very much appreciated. Some old hands and new faces graced the Sanderson Room this year, including a formidable Head’s team consisting of Fifth Former Elian C and Fourth Former Lohith K, who bravely vanquished some strong Sixth Form contenders.
The final motion, This House believes that the film is better than the book produced some thoughtful and well-presented arguments. The Sankey’s team of Maudie C and Jedida D fought for cinema whilst the Gibbs’ team of Russell A and Gabriel B P championed the written word as superior. In a very close contest, Gibbs' managed to convincingly argue the merits of the book and the judges, both avid readers themselves, hope that the floor was also convinced. Mr Carey, Mr Connelly, Dr Kerney, Fr Richard, Mrs Dugdale and the Head Master deserve a massive thank you for their time and their acumen in judging the debates as do the chairs and timekeepers for keeping everyone – including myself – in line.