BOLTON is the second most successful borough in the country when it comes to finding adoptive homes for the town’s looked after children.

New figures from the department for education show that in 2012, 28 per cent of children in care were adopted, this was 10 per cent higher than the previous year. Knowsley was the most successful in the country after placing 29 per cent of looked after children with permanent families.

The North West average was 15 per cent and the country’s average was just 13 per cent.

Cllr Madeline Murray, cabinet member for looked after children and safeguarding, said: “This is marvellous news and will give the staff, who go above and beyond, a huge boost, they work so hard and their efforts have paid off.

“Adoption makes a huge difference to children’s lives, it will turn around the lives of some of the children, who are part of a loving family. The placements are high quality and children are with parents who are committed to them.”

The figures were released as it was revealed the majority of looked after children are taught in outstanding or good schools. None were taught in inadequate schools. This year there were 515 children in care, a slight drop from 520 last year.

The figure is the third highest in the ten Greater Manchester authorities only Manchester and Salford have more children in their care.

A council spokesman added: “We also aim to find alternative ways of helping families with their older children through targeted support and respite care from our Adolescent Support Unit and this, combined with our numbers of adoptions, contributed to a small fall in the number of looked after children in 2011-12 from 520 to 515.”

Nationally nearly 30,000 children were taken into care last year.

The total in care rose two per cent in a year which represents an increase of 13 per cent compared with March, 2008, which social workers started recommending more children be take into care following the death of Peter Connelly, known as Baby P.

The figures also showed more youngsters being adopted, the highest since 2007 and an increase of 12 per cent from last year.