This leaves new entrants trailing badly behind their English counterparts, most of whom start on pound;16,050 following a 3.3 per cent pay rise which took effect from April 1.
Scottish staff catch up at the top of the unpromoted scale, which is pound;23,958 in England. But under performance-related pay English teachers will be entitled to another pound;2,000 from September 1. With a bonus related to exam pass rates they could evenually earn up to pound;30,000.
Delegates at the National Union of Teachers' annual conference this week voted for a strike ballot to oppose performance pay but Doug McAvoy, the union's general secretary, said he would ignore the call.
The Scottish Executive has so far shown no obvious enthusiasm for payment by results. But, in line with new Labour's "money for modernisation" mantra, ministers are more likely to be attracted by pay for additional commitments such as sports and music duties, study support and Easter schools.