Newly-appointed headteachers are most likely to be paid the same or less than their predecessor, according to a survey commissioned by the School Teachers' Review Body.
More than half of new heads were appointed on the same spine point, almost a third were appointed at a lower point, and almost a fifth were paid more.
In the last year, 27 per cent of heads and 26 per cent of deputies in the same post were awarded at least one point by their governing bodies.
The highest number of points awarded to a head was 10 (worth up to Pounds 8,000 depending at which point they started) and the highest given to deputies was 11. The larger increases often occur when schools amalgamate.
A quarter of all classroom teachers were paid on point nine (the maximum that can be reached through qualifications and experience alone) and 48 per cent on points 10 to 13 (Pounds 21,393-Pounds 26,106). Almost half had one or more permanent responsibility points.
Men were more likely to get responsibility points than women - 15 per cent of men were awarded four such points, compared with 4 per cent of women. This is largely because fewer points are awarded in primary schools.
Governors say the squeeze on budgets has affected the degree to which extra points have been awarded. Andy Inett, principal negotiator for the Local Government Management Board, said: "We are fearful that an upturn in the economy will mean schools will be unable to compete in the labour market. "
A survey by the board detected a slight increase in teacher turnover, using 1994 figures.
According to the survey - based on 4,000 headteachers and deputies and 28,300 classroom teachers - of the estimated 31,000 full-time teachers who joined the profession in 1995, just over half were newly-qualified, a third came from other maintained schools, and 6 per cent were returners.
John Howson, senior lecturer at the school of education, Oxford Brookes University, said: "The picture we have is of a skewed profession with a large number at the highest point in the pay scale for their experience and qualifications, and not many prospects of increasing their salary.
"I am also concerned at the disparity between the survey's figures on returners and those used by the Department for Education and Employment, which suggests the DFEE is seriously underestimating the extra number of teachers needed," said Mr Howson.