But Rory MacKenzie, head at Balerno High in Edinburgh, said support and development for teachers should precede any departure from the profession.
He certainly would expect that in the case of his own staff or, indeed, in respect of himself were any "dignified exit" to be suggested.
"I'll certainly make sure at least it's dignified, Rory," quipped his boss, Roy Jobson, who happened to be speaking at the conference.
Jobson was commendably specific when he described difficult teachers. "I find that most of the problems with teachers are usually with men, mostly in their late 50s and mostly in science departments - and I speak as a man in his late 50s who used to be a science teacher."