Children in local authority care in Rochdale who reported sexual and physical abuse were failed by the council, its chief executive has said.
Steve Rumbelow said events at Knowl View School and Cambridge House Hostel had “cast a long shadow over the town”.
He apologised, saying the council’s response to reports of abuse dating back to the 1960s was “unforgiveable”.
He added it was working to safeguard young people and assisting the Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
The independent inquiry which opens on 9 October will examine recent allegations into sexual abuse and exploitation of children residing at or attending Cambridge House and Knowl View.
It will also investigate if there were any “institutional failings”.
More than 40 men recently alleged they were victims of abuse at Knowl View, with 24 alleging they were abused between 1960 and 1987 by Rochdale’s former Liberal MP Cyril Smith who was a governor there. He died in 2010.
In October prosecutors said no action will be taken into fresh allegations of abuse there; a decision dubbed “shameful” by Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd.