The purpose of the health promoting schools is to create enabling environments for future generations to gain knowledge and skills in caring and improving their health, as well as the health of their families and communities by applying the principles of the health promotion in settings where people learn, enjoy, live and work.
The promotion of health in school settings has a long and diverse history. Health education contents were introduced into the school curricula over time, as well as healthcare services such as medical examinations, with special attention to early detection of hearing and vision problems that may limit learning, updates of the immunization schedule, oral and dental care and deworming. Advances in health promotion during the 80's were applied in certain priority settings, such as schools, municipalities and communities, and others.
The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Global Health Promoting Schools in 1995, in line with the mechanisms for health promotion established in the Ottawa Charter in 1986.