The US and UK have agreed to share a total of $20m for the expansion of the Belfast School System, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The Belfast School system is currently run by the UCD Board of Governors.
The department said in a statement that the UCC would continue to operate the school system under the authority of the UBC Board of Trustees.
The Department of the Treasury, in a separate statement, said that the new funding will be used to support the development of a new public charter school in Belfast, the development and operation of a local charter school and the expansion and development of an online and community charter school.
The U.K. Department for Education has been providing funding to the Belfast Education Partnership (BEP) since 2016, with the UDA, the UK’s independent schools regulator, providing the funding.
The BEP has been in the running for two years to expand the Belfast system’s schools to include the first class level, which has previously been run by UCD and the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Federation (NITEF).
In the UPA, the Belfast board was chaired by a former UCD board member and the new school will be managed by the Belfast Board of Education under the direction of a former Northern Ireland governor.
However, a new charter school has been proposed by the United Kingdom-based company, which is currently under construction at the same site, and is expected to open next year.
The United Kingdom Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the agreement will ensure the Belfast schools system can “continue to deliver high quality education for its students.”
The Belfast schools were established in 1998 by the then-head of the Board of the British Board of Deputies and Examiners (BBDE), Professor John O’Connor, to offer a high quality of learning for all pupils in Belfast and its surrounding area.
The Belfast system includes over 600 pupils, and has around 300 staff.