The article describes the development of the ideas of preservation of health at schools which promote health in the countries of Eastern Europe: Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine and Russia. Certain aspects of health promoting activity at such schools are devoted to the domestic and foreign scientists works: creating culture of health and valuable relation to the health at the methodological, theoretical and practical levels: T. Andryushchenko, V. Gorashchuck, S. Kyrylenko, N. Lukyanchenko, A. Madguga, O. Shiyan; the socio-pedagogical factors influencing the students’ health: M. Bezrukykh, B. Brozowska, T. Boychenko, B. Jensen, O. Yezhova, V. Kasatkin, V. Kuchma, V. Movchanyk, Y. Naumenko, M. Sokolowska, V. Sonkin, K. Falvinchi, V. Shapovalova and others. The significant contribution to the research activity of the European network of health promoting schools is carried out by such foreign researchers as M. Burgher, V. Barnekow, G. Buijs, T. Williams, B. Woynarowska, M. Havlinova, J. Karski, A. Krawaсski, D. Rivvet, P. Paulus, V. Simovska, H. Štumarová, I. Young, Z. Jaworski and others. The investigation of the process of formation of the normative-legal support networks of health promoting schools in the countries of Eastern Europe and the analysis of the research project «Students’ health and behavioral orientation» has allowed us to define the main directions of their activity: for Poland and Russia – health sports, for the Czech Republic and Hungary – health and preventive, for Ukraine – preventive-educational. The preventive line provides the foundation of the preventive measures system and impact of the risk factors on the development of diseases; improving-sports complex activity as sports oriented and the health on elimination of the expressed risk factors and the complex of the actions for the patients’ rehabilitation; preventive-educational direction is considered from the point of view of the benefits of the educational component (motivation on health maintenance, preventive care). The special attention is paid to the analysis of theoretical and legal bases of national networks of health promoting schools in the European countries activity. The main aspects are determined and legislated. They include the goals and objectives of the establishment and activity of the European network of health promoting schools; the main directions of its activity; forms and methods; management structure of activity and interaction and cooperation within the European network of health promoting schools. It is determined that the idea of the project of the European network of health promoting schools is a further development of the WHO strategy, developed in the Ottawa Charter, the programme «Health for all», «Health – 2020» and «Europe – 2020».