Any maintained school or academy may seek to admit up to 10 per cent. of its intake by aptitude in one of the relevant 'prescribed' subjects if it considers it has a specialism, whether or not that specialism is recognised formally by its designation as a specialist school or as an academy with a particular specialism. In the case of academies, such arrangements would have first to be approved by the Secretary of State.
Prescribed subjects are limited to modern foreign languages, performing or visual arts and physical education or sport. Academies may also continue to select 10 per cent. by aptitude in design and technology and ICT if and only if they or their predecessor schools already had such arrangements in place prior to the 2008 academic year.