The head of a group advising the Government on charter schools is confident the first one will open next year as planned.
Partnership Schools Working Group chair Catherine Isaac said 31 expressions of interest have been received from parties wanting to run charter schools.
She said the process was an informal one, shedding light on who might apply later.
Legislation allowing charter schools to operate is not yet through Parliament.
However, Ms Isaac said she is sure the first one will open next year because the expressions of interest came of groups that already have past or current experience running schools.