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Background: School’s contribution in public health promotion is an issue that concerns literature and needs to be explored and assessed. Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of school health promotion programs. Method: A literature review in English and in Greek in the databases of Pubmed, SciVerse Scopus (Elsevier) and in Google Scholar was conducted for the years 1990-2011. A secondary search was conducted by investigating the reference lists of the gathered literature. Key words used were: evaluation, effectiveness, school health education/promotion programs. Results: Twenty-seven studies were retrieved (nineteen experimental, seven surveys, and one qualitative). Twenty-six studies used health education programs, sixteen used prevention programs, eight used health protection programs, and seven used environmental control. Six studies used all concepts of health promotion. Twenty studies used needs assessment, seven studies used process evaluation and all used output evaluation. Five studies used all three ways of evaluation. Self assessment was mainly employed using quantitative means (e.g. Score) through questionnaires, instead of using the clients’ evaluation through other techniques (interviews, diaries etc). Conclusions: This review presents research data providing evidence that school health promotion activities are effective and therefore schools can operate as a means of health promotion.