The new school year is less than two weeks away and, in the first ever meeting of its kind, representatives from a range of authorities held talks yesterday to discuss ways of improving security and safety for schoolchildren. Officials discussed three key areas that authorities will need to concentrate on in the new academic year – policing around schools, preventing drug dealers from coming into contact with schoolchildren and ensuring that students are transported in roadworthy buses. Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras chaired the meeting of representatives from the Interior, Education, Public Works, Education, Tourism and Health ministries and the Greek Police (ELAS). Officials decided that police foot and vehicle patrols around schools should be stepped up, with particular attention to any woods or squares near the schools. Police and school officials will also have to be on greater alert for suspicious people who frequent the areas outside schools in an effort to keep drugs away from youngsters. It was agreed that officers would conduct frequent and visible checks on any suspects. Authorities decided school buses should be checked more frequently to ensure they are safe and operating legally. Another measure that is popular in many other European countries – installing speed cameras outside schools – was also proposed during yesterday’s meeting.