Something of an #education breakthrough was announced today. A study, performed in Bristol by researchers from the London School of Economics, has shown that babies born to highly competitive women (Tiger mothers) who believe that they have the power to shape their children’s prospects go on to achieve better GCSE results.

Early in their pregnancy mothers were asked questions such as “Do you believe things happen no matter what you try to do to stop them?”, and “Does planning ahead make things turn out better?” They were then interviewed annually until their children were five.

Using their answers, the women were grouped by a psychological measure known as locus of control, which reflects whether people think outcomes are influenced by their own actions or more down to fate or luck. Children whose mothers ranked in the top 25 per cent of the internal locus of control scale (early in their pregnancy) tended to obtain GCSE scores about 17 per cent higher than children of mothers in the bottom 25 per cent.

How do you develop an internal locus of control? It is a central theme in beliefs work.