A FREE school for 700 boys aged 11 to 19 will open in Bolton next September.

The secondary school and sixth form will be a faith school — and the third government flagship free school to open in the borough.

It is being opened by the Tauheedul Free Schools Trust, which was formed following the success of the Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School in Blackburn — a voluntary aided school.

Bolton Free School, although designated as a Muslim faith school, says it will welcome applications from families of all faiths, stating it “actively promotes community cohesion and traditional British values”.

It will offer a traditional curriculum, focusing on GCSEs and A-levels, as well as personal development and community service.

The school will specialise in the STEM subjects —science, technology, engineering and maths.

Linda Thompson, of the Tauheedul Free Schools’ Trust, said: “We want to reach out to all communities in Bolton, and the community service that pupils at the school will undertake will promote harmonious relations and develop a culture of active citizenship.”

“Bolton’s communities are aware of the employment opportunities offered by STEM-based industries in Greater Manchester, and they want their children to be able to access these.

“The emphasis on STEM in the Bolton Free School’s curriculum will give students a first class education in these subjects so that they can aspire to careers in related professions.”

The Bolton Free School will start taking in pupils from September, 2014 and the sixth form is expected to open in 2016.

The trust says that given the interest already shown, they expect the school will be very popular and likely to be oversubscribed.

Mum-of-one Aisha Patel, from Bolton, said: “As parents in Bolton we have high aspirations for our children.

“We want our children to succeed — to go to the best universities and to compete for the best professional jobs.

“We are thrilled that the Department for Education has given the go-ahead for the Bolton Free School, which will provide the education that we want for our sons.”

Free schools are state-funded schools independent of local authority control.

The government says they are run by teachers — not local or central government bureaucrats. They have the freedom to decide the length of the school day and term, the curriculum, and how they reward their teachers and spend their money.

The trust will now finalise their plans, including securing a site.

The Olive Tree Primary — a mixed sex Muslim school which will take non-Muslim children — will open in an existing empty building in Daubhill in September.

Essa Primary School, which will also be a free school, will open in September, 2014.