Health Promotion International, Vol. 32, Issue 2, April 2017
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The health promoting school (HPS) approach was developed and introduced during the 1980s. Its development was inspired by the Ottawa Charter presented at the first international conference on health promotion in 1986, which helped changing the context for health promotion significantly. The Ottawa Charter (WHO, 1986) states that health promotion is a process about enabling people, meaning that people can actively acquire competencies to create more control over their own health and over their environment. Until then, the more traditional approach to health education in schools was, and often still is, focused on gaining knowledge about diseases and healthy behaviour based on a narrow concept of health.