In 1987, CBSE brought out a publication titled, "Freedom to learn and freedom to grow through Sahodaya School Complexes" (SSCs) which characterized "SSCs" as a voluntary association of schools in a given area, who through mutual choices, have agreed to come together for a systematic and system-wide renewal of the total educational process. In other words, as "Sahodaya" signifies rising together, it identified six areas, to begin with, for collaboration amongst schools of its complex:
Through positive promotional efforts, the Board has helped schools come together and form an interactive and sharing relationship. At present, there are 260 such complexes which are active throughout the country, and share and care for each other; particularly those which are in close physical proximity.
Through the idea of Sahodaya Schools complexes was first mooted by the Education Commission,1966. It was the National policy on Education, 1966 which reiterated in strong words the need for promoting school complexes for meeting the quality of education. This set the tone for bringing the schools together and networking them for healthy interaction among themselves. The first national conference of Principals of CBSE affiliated schools organized by CBSE in collaboration with APSC Madras in 1985 emphasized collaboration among schools and establishing linkages in academic and other co-curricular and cultural activities. The idea of Sahodaya School Complexes was further concretized when CBSE, jointly with NPSC, organized a two-day conference of school principals and teachers in Delhi in October 1986. The resolution number 5 stated "Accepting the necessity for establishing school complex (es) which may be named SS complexes so that isolation that exists today between the school will give way to partnership among schools within the complexes and they will work and rise together". The year 1987 saw a further boost to the idea of setting up of SS complex (es) when CBSE in pursuance of the National Policy of Education, 1986 used a booklet titled "Implementation of National policy on Education in CBSE affiliated Schools-Programme of Action for three years" which reiterated school complexes and resolved to encourage the process of setting of Sahodaya School Complexes.