Great summary BeerTricksPotter - and great name too. I guess you've been one for a while! Would just add that if you can get into school during the day now and again, that also helps, though most meetings are likely to be in the evening.
You should be able to have an informal chat to the Chair.
Check the timings of meetings, our school had an unhappy knack of putting one particular committee meeting at 4 p.m. in the afternoon which suited no-one, except apparently the HT. As well as introductory training, you are also expected to attend ongoing training during your time as a Governor, perhaps on Safeguarding, Child Protection or OFSTED - just as examples. There may also be an annual Governor conference for your LA and usually once a term there is a Hot Topics session covering everything which is new or current in governance. Obviously, all these sessions can be divided amongst all governors so you don't end up attending everything - unless you want to!
If you are interested in being a parent governor, best to speak to an existing governor who can tell you exactly what is involved and how things operate in your school because it varies.
Just been to my second meeting. Yesterday I had governors training (2.5hrs). There are three more of these before the end of November. I have volunteered for a committee, I have a meeting for this in three weeks. I also need to go into school for an hour to get my head round the tracking system the school uses. Oh, and all governors have been invited to the harvest event in two weeks. Initially I was told it would be one meeting a term! (we have been given a sheet with all acronyms on )
Thanks for replies. I don't think now is the right time for me, as I have a preschooler at home and limited people who could look after him if I needed to do training or meetings that weren't later in the evening.
I've been a parent governor for nearly a year. There is a full council meeting once every six weeks. Up to now I have just been on the main council, but have just been appointed to one of the committees, which will be an additional monthly meeting.
The Chair has asked me to take on an informal role of being the "friendly face" of the Council- acting as a liason between the PTA and the Govs (there has been a huge drama this year) - I am a known face around school, where most of the school wouldn't know who the rest of the govs are! I've also been trained in Child Safeguarding, and advise the COuncil on these matters when needed.
We are recruiting a new HT this term
Thoroughly enjoy it, didn't think I would. (I'm not UK state school)