MORE than 200 schools are closed or partially closed because of today's public sector strike.

According to the latest Oxfordshire County Council list, 211 schools are affected.

You can check them via the link attached to this story, which also carries a list of those schools that have said they are fully open.

Picketlines are forming at various public buildings around the county.

There are ones outside the John Radcliffe Hospital, Thames Valley Police's headquarters in Kidlington, Oxford's St Aldate's police station, Oxford Town Hall, Oxfordshire County Council's headquarters and Oxford and Cherwell Valley College.

Of those in the city so far seen, it would seem the college in Oxpens has the largest turn-out on the picket of about 15.

Three-thousand people are expected to take part in a three-pronged march through the city today from 1.30pm. They merge into one at the Plain and expected to arrive a rally in Broad Street at about 3.30pm.

It is the biggest wave of public sector industrial action in a decade.

Unions said early indications were that the walkout was being solidly supported and predicted that November 30 would go down in history as the biggest day of industrial action since the 1979 Winter of Discontent.

Hospital employees and workers on the Mersey tunnels were among the first to take action from midnight, setting up picket lines and holding up banners attacking the Government's pension reforms.

Early Government figures suggested that almost three in four schools were affected by the walkout, although that number could rise. The Department for Education (DfE) said it believed that more than half of England's 21,700 state schools (58%) were closed, with a further 13 per cent partially shut. Around 13% are open, the DfE said, while the rest are unknown. Schools in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also expected to be affected.

Queues are expected to build up during the day at Heathrow airport, no ferries will sail to or from Shetland, and the Metro in Newcastle will not run.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude launched fresh criticism of the strike, saying it was "inappropriate, untimely and irresponsible", especially while talks were continuing.

"Responsibility for any disruption which people may experience today lies squarely with union leaders. We have listened to the concerns of public sector workers and that is why at the beginning of this month we put an improved offer on the table. The offer ensures that public sector pensions will remain among the very best available while also being fair and affordable to taxpayers.

"While discussions are continuing, I would urge public sector workers to look at the offer for themselves rather than listening to the rhetoric of their union leaders. These are the sort of pensions that few in the private sector can enjoy.

"I want to reassure the public that we have done everything we can to minimise disruption. Rigorous contingency planning is in place across all sectors to try and limit the impact of the strike action and to ensure that key public services remain open.

"However, we now estimate today that around three-quarters of schools in England will be closed or partially closed today. Council services such as refuse collection, street cleaning and libraries are also likely to be affected."